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Ashanti Regional Youth Network, as part of its activities for the year, has held a dialogue for young people in the region and duty bearers on problems facing education in the region.

The event was attended by reps from the Ghana Education Service, the Association of TVET Institutions, the Ghana Federation of Disability, officers from their partners including the National Network of Youth Groups, Foundation for Security and Development in Africa, Oxfam in Ghana, the youth network members, and other young people. The event, which was both physical and virtual, had young people across the country participating online.

It was a target-reaching forum where the network presented what they have identified as the difficulties of education in the region including COVID-19 management in schools, teenage pregnancy, passes in WASSCE in the region, as well as issues of sexual harassment by teachers, corporal punishment/discipline in schools, and others issues bothering on teaching and learning.

The Ag. Convenor, Samuel Gariba, said the dialogue was necessary for young people’s participation in decision-making in education. He added that the dialogue will offer the necessary space for young people to engage meaningfully with duty bearers and forge partnerships for inclusive problem-solving.

Mr. Ali Ibrahim, Project Officer of FOSDA, in his address, said the increased indiscipline in schools is a cause for worry. There were also concerns about teacher-student’s amorous affairs, which are also on the ascendancy.

He continued that there’s a high record of PTA, chiefs, and political influence on the enforcement of GES rules guidelines in the running of schools. This, he called on GES, to check them and ensure the school environment is safe and sane for teaching and learning.

Participants got their social media handles active with focused discussion on issues raised at the forum and some intriguing hashtags right on site. They could not wait to cause change.

In a panel discussion, Mad. Hannah of the Regional Education Office said there is a total ban on corporal punishment in schools. She continued that the WASSCE passes in the region do not necessarily look bad. However, on average, the region needs to improve.

She concluded that education is a shared responsibility among the school, parents, and the community, hence there is a need for parents and the community to intensify their oversight responsibilities of children when at home.

Mr. Anthony Amankwaa Sarkodie, the Assistant Regional Secretary, Association of Private TVET Institutions in Ashanti Region, urged the young people to take up TVET courses since it has the higher potential to give them livelihood after school.

The Ghana Federation of Disability also called for the retooling of special schools, saying they must be given equal attention as the regular schools.

A participant commented that “it is time for stringent measures to be taken in checking the moral background of prospective teacher trainees due to the prevalence of harassment and maltreatment happening in schools of late. The teacher should not only be an employee to train our children but also a recognized stakeholder in
education”

The event ended with the Network requesting to participate in educational review meetings of the Ghana Education Service.

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