The Executive Director of African Education Watch Mr. Kofi Asare has released a report alleging that, the Northern Region is one of the poorest in Ghana.
In a report, Mr. Kofi Asare said, only 55% of children complete primary school in the region according to UNICEF, 2020 report. Distance to school and poverty are major drivers.
He explained that, out of those who complete primary school, 28% are unable to enter Junior High School (JHS) mainly because majority (60%) of primary schools in the Northern Region do not have a JHS (CDD, 2022).
Out of those who enter JHS 1, 16% dropout again before JHS 3. Distance commuted to JHS is key, with some students walk more than 10 km a day in Zabzugu and Tatale Sanguli (Eduwatch, 2021) .
After Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), based on the national average of 90% JHS-SHS transition which is a huge improvement due to the free SHS and the ‘removal’ of admission cut offs, only 10% of the candidates dropout before secondary.
In summary, only 3 out of 10 primary school children in the Northern Region are likely to enjoy free SHS.
Kofi Asare said, if government wants to increase equitable access to Senior High School (SHS), it must first, urgently fix the huge Primary-JHS transition gaps in underserved regions by providing reasonable access to primary and JHS.
“I am very worried, l am not seeing the urgency. Our Northern brothers seem unperturbed. Those with infulence are busy preaching power. The Northern Region situation is not too different from the other four (4) northern regions and Oti.” He added.