Staff from the Girls' Education Unit (GEU) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) are enhancing their capacity to better promote girls' education and coordinate girls' education interventions in Ghana, as part of the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls' and Women Education.
Since 1997, Ghana's Education Service (GES) has a Girls' Education Unit (GEU) with a mandate to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination in the education sector and improve the enrolment and retention of girls in school. Yet, a capacity assessment in 2016 revealed weaknesses in the institutional capacity of the GEU to play its role effectively. In particular, the report highlighted ineffectiveness of the GEU in coordinating the many girls' education interventions that non-state actors are implementing in the country.
To address this as well as other structural issues, such as inadequate public funding for girls' education or lack of female role models in some schools and communities, the UNESCO Office in Accra is facilitating a series of capacity-building trainings to enhance the GEU's capacity in promoting girls' education in Ghana, through the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls' and Women's Education.
A first training programme was organized on 24-28 April 2017 in Larteh, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, targeting 32 staff members from the GEU (30 women and 2 men), including all the nine headquarters staff and selected staff members from various regions and districts. The training focused on results-based programme management, resource mobilization and report writing. It was facilitated by the West Africa Civil Society Institute with a mix of techniques such as PowerPoint presentations, group work, quizzes, brainteasers, case studies and plenary discussions.
Participants shared how the training helped enhance their skills: "I have acquired the skills of local resource mobilization to fund activities in my metropolis," said Vida Owusu, Kumasi Metropolis Girls' Education Officer. "I have also been equipped as to how to coordinate my activities in the district as well as how to write a better report". Another participant, Greater Accra Regional Girls' Education Officer Christiana Azure Ayimzoya indicated how she was going to apply her knew knowledge: "I now know how to mobilize resources to run programmes for girls in my region," she said. "Report writing is another skill I have learnt at this workshop. I will organize a capacity-building workshop for the Girls' Education Officers in my region when I get back".
To ensure adequate follow up to the training, UNESCO staff and the facilitators have scheduled follow up visits to the participants' offices to ascertain what they have done differently after participating in the training. The visits will also enable the facilitators to provide the requisite technical support to participants in their respective offices. The second training is scheduled to take place from 21-25 August 2017, targeting 35 Girls' Education Officers. In total, through the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls' and Women's Education, the project aims to train 235 staff members to enhance their capacity to better promote girls' education and coordinate girls' education interventions in Ghana.