Using education as a tool for girl-child empowerment (a case of Garu-Tempani District, Ghana)

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In many countries, economic growth has been available to finance education expansion, but many millions remain in poverty and are unschooled or illiterate.Africa is lagging behind other regions of the world in female enrolment ratios and female school and this can be attributed to violence perpetuated against girls which results in sexual, physical, or psychological harm. While Ghana has made considerable progress under the FCUBE programme and subsequent reform initiatives to expand free primary education for a rapidly expanding school age population throughout the country, the education system in Ghana continues to struggle with a number of critical challenges in achieving its Education for All targets by 2015, particularly in the areas of girls enrolment, retention and quality improvement in girl child education. The importance of girls’ education cannot be over emphasized as it contributes to improved quality of life and enhances national development through increased economic production rates, improved hygiene and nutritional practices, reduced child and maternal mortality rate. The case study approach was adopted to undertake the research where data was collected from both primary and secondary sources.The purposive sampling method was adopted for data collection process. Also, the simple random sampling technique (lottery method) was employed in the selection of pupils, teachers and head teachers to ensure an unbiased representative of the various units of analysis. The research revealed that there are some cultural practices that cause low educational status of the girl child in the Garu-Tempani District.However, there are other factors besides the cultural factors that affect girl education in the district such as the operation of ‘deck’, agricultural activities, and distance to school.It was also revealed the dropout among boys and girls lead to premature parenthood,drug addiction and premature and unprotected sex which results to the contraction of STDs .. The study made a number of policy recommendations to enhance the education of the girl child such as by-laws to banned the practice of ‘deck’, organizing markets during the day, banned on child betrothal, offenders of traditional practice such as FGM to prosecuted to serve as deterrent.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilmentof the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning, 2012