|Mr. Paul Napari, Education Specialist, USAID|
The USAID Education Specialist in charge of Northern Ghana Paul Napari, has urged stakeholders in the education sector to take keen interest in the implementation of PTAE and play their role effectively to ensure its success.
He lamented that there were still teething challenges in the education sector in Northern Ghana, saying “I believe that if everyone plays their part very well, the change that we all seek to see happen in education would take place.”
Speaking at a consensus building meeting of stakeholders in the education sector in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana, Mr. Napari said: “I come from this part of the country….Savelugu. I’ve sat under a tree to learn as a school boy….and each time I go out to the field to work as staff of USAID I still see a huge chunk of children sitting under trees to learn”, he bemoaned.
The meeting was organised by Net Organisation for Youth Empowerment and Development (NOYED-Ghana) and Northern Network for Education Development (NNED). The meeting was part of the implementation of a USAID funded project called: “Promoting Transparency And Accountability in Education (PTAE)”.
The 18-month long project which was launched in April this year is being implemented in 25 districts in Northern Ghana; Five (5) districts in Upper West Region, 5 districts in Upper East Region and 15 districts in Northern Region.
PTAE would cost US$648,000 by the time it ends. NNED and NOYED-Ghana are implementing PTAE in the Northern Region whereas HAYTAFORD and LCD are implementing it in the Upper West and Upper East Regions respectively.
Executive Director of NOYED-Ghana Alhassan Abdulai Iddi, said PTAE seeks to promote transparency and accountability in education by addressing serious concerns among education stakeholders regarding effective governance and efficient management of education resources.
He said PTAE seeks among other things, to increase the awareness and involvement of 270 local civil society members and 1250 parents from 25 districts in the management of education resources in Northern Ghana.
PTAE, he noted, also intends to promote adherence to effective mechanisms for channelling education resources from central government to decentralised offices in Northern Ghana.
Mr. Iddi explained that, by the end of the project in 2017, 55 civil society organisations would have shown interest and proactively engaging in dialogues with communities, Ghana Education Service and government on accountable education resources management.
By the end of PTAE, he added that there would be improved transparent and accountable management of education resources resulting in improved teaching and learning outcomes in 13 project districts and 85 school communities.
Furthermore, Mr. Iddi stated that, 35 percent of project districts and 45 percent of project schools would have adopted pragmatic measures to address bottlenecks of education resources.
The Tamale consensus building meeting brought together District Directors of Education, District Coordinating Directors and Finance Officers as well as Headteachers of selected basic schools from the 15 project districts.
Participants pledged their support and cooperation to USAID, NOYED-Ghana and NNED to ensure that the project was well implemented in order to deal with the challenges confronting education development in their respective districts and schools.
NOYED-Ghana is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation established in 2005. It uses a multi-faceted approach to development with the understanding that no project, campaign, community or individual is the same. These strategies include education and sensitisation, capacity building and training workshops, advocacy and behavioural change communication, as well as direct service delivery through volunteerism as the key driver of sustainable and lasting change in the communities of Northern Ghana.
NNED is also a not-for-profit organisation established in 2000 in response to the Dakar Framework for Action to campaign and address challenges in the educational system and to ensure that the Educational for All commitments were fulfilled in Northern Ghana. It is a membership-based network and brings together 89 stakeholders, 60 of which are civil society organisations working on education and other development issues.