Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ However, children at Dorlakofe, Kojokpo, an Island and Tankaskorfe remote communities in Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region, have not had access to early childhood education facilities since existence.
Children in these communities only go to school at age seven due to the risk of trekking long rocky-bumpy and bushy distances to Akwamu Gyakiti to access education. The children, therefore, lose out on early stimulation learning opportunities. Their cognitive, language and psycho-social skills are affected and remain underdeveloped hence keeps them from performing well in primary school and eventually dropping out for fishing.
“Because we don’t have school here, our children don’t go to school early. They go to school mostly after seven years because they can’t walk. The road too is bad. No cars come here, even motorbikes. It is dangerous. Children in Kojokpo even have to be ferried daily on the Volta lake to cross to Dorlakofe before they continue to Gyakiti, so it is not easy to go to school here”, a parent said.
Beatrice and Rosemary, now in Junior High School at Gyakiti Presbyterian Basic School, spoke and this is what they had to say; “I walk from here to Gyakiti. We suffer sometimes. If you are coming from school, we don’t get water to drink. We will be thirsty on the road till we reach home.so we are begging the MP to help us in this village. Sometimes we feel tired because we can’t learn. If you go to school you will be sleeping,” Beatrice said.
“I am Ganyo Rosemary, I go to school at Gyakiti JHS, I cross the Volta lake at Kojokpo and continue to walk to school. Sometimes, we get drenched by the rain and all our books get spoiled. We also feel thirsty walking to school with no water to drink. We mostly miss the first lesson because sometimes we get late.”Ganyo Rosemary, Resident
New School Building
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman Thomas Ampem Nyarko started a new KG school at Dorlakofe to serve children in the three communities. The establishment of the Kindergarten (KG) was done in collaboration with the District Education Directorate and Global Evangelical Church which gave out their church building to be used as a temporary classroom.
At a brief ceremony fully attended by excited community members, the MP handed over teaching and Learning materials, furniture, cash of GHC2000.00, a brand-new motorbike to the first Teacher who accepted posting to the school and promised to provide bags of rice to be cooked for the students every Friday.
The MP also assured to supply kids playing items such as Swings, Bouncers & Rockers and Jumpers to create an entertaining learning environment for the KG pupils.
The MP will be paying the monthly salaries of the teacher until the GES absorbs the school and employs the teachers.
“Because of the long distance from here to Gyakiti, I am told the children get tired and have been sleeping in class. So, if the child doesn’t perform well academically not because he or she is not good but the situation is rather affecting his education. I am aware that because of the long distance and deplorable road, parents here don’t let their children go to school early until they are seven years old.
“This is the reason why we are starting KG here today. The success of this KG and increased enrollment will determine the future, whether to continue to build class one to JHS school here. So, I entreat all of you to bring your children to the KG.”Thomas Ampem Nyarko
Asuogyaman District Director of Education, Augustina Adjoa Owusu, commended the MP for his intervention stating that late enrollment in early childhood education affects cognitive and skills formation of children urged parents to take advantage of the KG facility to provide expose their children to early childhood education to facilitate their academic progression.
Present at the ceremony were Akosombo District Pastor of Global Evangelical Church; Rev. Eliya Srebi and Wife, Rev. Mrs. Love Srebi, Headmen of the three beneficiary communities and other opinion leaders from the communities.