School for Life (SfL) works to get children in deprived areas into formal school through a functional literacy programme. School for Life provides nine-month mother tongue literacy to out-of-school children between the ages of 8-14 years. The programme was designed to complement the efforts of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to get all out-of-school children into school.
The Programme began operation in 1995 in two pilot districts; Yendi and Gushegu/Karaga in the Northern Region, working in close partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the GES. The Programme later expanded to cover eight districts in 1999 and then to ten districts in 2004 all in the Northern Region. The programme has benefited over 109,000 children who would otherwise have had no access to education.
Through replication, under the Education Quality for All (EQUALL) Project, the Programme further expanded into nine districts in the Upper East and Upper West Regions including some districts in the Northern Region. The last four districts under the expanded/replication programme are funded by the Department of International Development (DFID), after one year of support by USAID.
School for Life evolved from a friendship between Northern Ghana community based organizations on the one hand and Danish development activists on the other. The Ghanaian development activists are organized under an umbrella organization called the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), whereas their Danish counterparts are members of a Danish NGO called Ghana Venskabsgrupperne in Denmark (GV). In a holistic approach to solving the diverse peculiar problems of Northern Ghana, they ran together three programmes, Ghanaian Danish Community Programme (GDCP), School for Life (SfL) and Community Life Improvement Project (CLIP). Later a Community-Based Organization Network was formed to empower local-based organizations in the programme area to drive development.
Currently, the umbrella organization, GDCA is in a programme agreement with the Danish partner GV under the Empowerment for Life (E4L) Programme, where former projects under GDCA has transformed from the single project to a holistic programme in Education, Community Livelihood and Empowerment.
WHAT DO WE DO
In order to address some of the educational dilemmas in Northern Ghana, School for Life (SfL) implements community-based functional literacy afternoon classes for children between the ages of 8 and 14 years who for various reasons have not had access to formal education.
The programme started with service delivery; where functional literacy was offered to children, construction of classrooms and teacher accommodation and the provision of classroom furniture. Later, focus areas like Mainstreaming, Advocacy and Replication became part of the programme strategy. School for Life has now transformed into a Learning and Development Centre. The organization has positioned itself to provide technical services in education to Government, private schools and other organizations in Education
SfL Operational Area
School for Life worked in 10 districts in the Northern Region (Yendi, Gushegu/Karaga, Zabzugu/Tatale, Savelugu/Nanton, Tamale rural, Saboba/Chereponi, Tolon/Kumbungu, Nanumba, East Gonja and West Mamprusi).The expanded programme covered 9 more districts ( Bole, West Gonja and East Mamprusi in the Northern region; Bongo, Talensi/Nabdam and Bawku West in the Upper East Region and Lawra, Jirapa/Lambusie and Nadowli in the Upper West Region. Most of the districts consist of small towns and rural settlements, where majority of the people are subsistent farmers or fishermen.
Currently, the coverage has been reduced all together from the total of 19 Districts as above to nine (Saboba/Chereponi, Nanumba, Tolon/Kumbungu, East Gonja, West Mamprusi, Jirapa/Lambussie, Nadowli, Central Gonja and Bawku West). The main reason that accounts for the reduced coverage is inadequate funding.
However, most rural districts remain disadvantaged and underserved. Most of the communities are inaccessible, the road network is poor and sometimes the communities are cut off from the rest of the District during the rainy season. For these and other reasons, there are no schools in these areas. Thus basic education suffers. Most of School for Life (SfL) work is in disadvantaged districts.
Northern Region, Ghana
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