Nonetheless, most of these young mothers say, they were not given enough support and flexibility in their education during and after their pregnancy. They recount the unfortunate situation of discouragement by society and the lack of any form of home tuition or alternative teaching arrangements amid the troubles of their pregnancy.
Unfortunately, these girls stay away from school for a long time after becoming pregnant, resulting in most of these teenage mothers relapsing into illiteracy. However, we have been able to take them through our functional literary classes, which has given them a boost of hope for their education knowing that, their lives cannot be ruined by their conditions.
Fortunately, since 2018 through the sensitization drive of the regional office over 20 teenage mothers from the old Brong Ahafo Region have defied all odds to return to school. They now have a new lease of life to embark on their educational journey as their recovery rate is very encouraging.
Currently, these teenage mothers together with their kids are joyfully bubbling after they successfully went through our CBE facilitation, sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and have been able to triumph through to various second cycle institutions in the country.
A beneficiary testified to a Journalist ”I dropped out of school when I was 16 years of age due to pregnancy. Since then, I have been in the house and currently with two (2) children, but thanks to this initiative, I am very hopeful for a brighter future”. Another beneficiary Agnes, 22 years old mother has also benefited from the NFED free remedial classes. She admonished, “I would like to tell my colleagues out there to join these free services so that, next year they can join the Government’s free Senior High School program”. Additionally, Justina a 19-year-old teenage mother who dropped out in her final year due to pregnancy also said, “I will advise all my colleagues who are facing a similar situation to come and join the centre and benefit from their free intriguing services”.
It is worth stating that, while facilitating their studies, the Division also prepare the girls for their new role as mothers, identify the potentials in them and encourage them to apply for further education. Some teenage mothers under our services are also benefiting from other life skills classes and counselling among others.
Matilda, another beneficiary told journalists, “I finished Secondary School fifteen (15) years ago but poorly performed. Based on that, I ruled out furthering my education and went into trading. Unfortunately, my shop got razed down by the fire. Consequently, life became unbearable for me and my family. So I decided to find another way out. This is why I joined the NFED’s free classes and I am very optimistic that, I can further my education to achieve my dream job”.
Furthermore, a graduate who couldn’t excel after completing school two years ago showed gratitude to the NFED for the opportunity given to them. “I am very grateful to Non-Formal Education for giving me this opportunity to rewrite the WASCE because I completed school in 2018 and couldn’t excel in my exams, in fact, I never thought I could get this opportunity but was fortunate to get it from the NFED. I say God bless them”.
The Non-Formal Education Division Regional Directorate responsible for the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions is confident of reducing the incidence of teenage pregnancies and inculcating confidence and hope in them. We have been demonstrating love, encouragement and inspiration to teenage mothers and their babies especially in their period of hopelessness.
Most importantly, our new programs are aimed at giving young mothers who still want to further their education enough reasons to be cheerful and rebuild their self-confidence and esteem.
Moreover, we have found that early parenthood should not be a guarantee for educational and social deprivation. Hence, we are extending our services to more districts in the regional directorate where some communities have been infamous for this phenomenon. This, the office believes can potentially help influence their lives positively.
No matter the situation they find themselves, the office is keen on supporting all school dropouts, teenage mothers and students who could not make it to their desired educational heights due to poor academic performance. The office also encourages them to eschew worries and rely on them, because there are opportunities available to get them on the right path in life.
The office believes that they all deserve another chance; because literacy is not only a tool for social transformation but an alternative for building a new moral life. Also, more people becoming functionally literate would help reduce negative practices such as child labour, drug abuse and improve the conduct of business in society.
Sponsored By UNESCO
NFED, Ahafo, Bono & Bono East
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
- The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (WHO, 2020). This infection primarily affects the respiratory system.
- Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, the viruses can be transmitted from animals to humans.
- The virus is linked to the family of viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some other types of common cold.
- On the average it takes 5-6 days for an infected person to show symptoms, however, it can take up to 14 days.
- Most people infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.
- It can also be fatal especially for the elderly, those with weak immune system, individuals with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer.
HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD OR TRANSMITTED?
- The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- The virus can also be transmitted by touching an infected surface such as tables, chairs, door locks and handles, rails pens and pencils and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes. The virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but appropriate disinfectants can kill it.
WHAT ARE THE SEVERE AND MILD SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
- Running nose
- Sore throat
MILD SYMPTOMS OF COVID -19
- Aches and Pains
SEVERE SYMPTOMS OF COVID -19
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pains or pressure
- Loss of speech or movement
HOW TO TREAT COVID-19
- Currently, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for Covid-19.
- As soon as you experience any of the above symptoms, call the emergency numbers 112 or 311. Also, one may call the following numbers; 0307011419, 0558439868, 0509497700, 0552222004, 0552222005, 0509497700 and 0558439868 for support.
- Warning!!!Do not self-medicate.
HOW CAN SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED COVID-19 PATIENTS MANAGE THEMSELVES AT HOME?
Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients can manage themselves at home by following the guidelines below:
- If you are ill with fever and cough call any of the emergency numbers for direction.
- Clean your hands frequently with soap under running water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Stay at home, avoid contacts with other persons and crowd.
- Have enough rest at home, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritional food.
- Stay in a separate room if possible and keep away from other family members if you see any of the symptoms until you are tested positive and taken to an isolation center. However, if it is not possible to stay in a separate room, always wear your face/nose mask and keep at least l meter distance from others.
- Always keep your room well-ventilated.
- Whenever you are coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or use disposable tissue. Always dispose-off tissue immediately after use and then wash your hands with soap under running water or sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- If you experience difficulty in breathing, immediately, call any of the emergency numbers for support.
HOW CAN FAMILY MEMBERS MANAGE SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED COVID-19 PATIENTS AT HOME?
Family members can manage covid-19 patients at homes by following these guidelines:
- Always make sure that the sick person rests, drinks plenty of fluids and eat nutritional foods.
- Always wear an appropriate face/nose mask whenever you are in the same room with the sick person.
- Do not touch the mask or face during use.
- Immediately disinfect and wash the mask. Ensure that the mask is well dried and ironed before re–use.
- Frequently clean your hands with soap under running water or with alcohol-based sanitizer especially:
- Anytime you come into contact with the sick person or his/her surroundings.
- Before, during and after cooking food.
- Before eating and
- After using the toilet.
- Always use separate dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels and bed sheets for the sick person.
- Always wash the dishes, cups, eating utensils under running water. Towels and bed sheets used by the sick persons should also be wished with soap and water and dry in the sun.
- Identify frequently touched surfaces (door locks, phones etc.) by the sick person and clean and disinfect them daily.
Call the medical doctor immediately if a sick person’s conditions worsen or experiences difficulties breathing.
HOW CAN ONE STAY HEALTHY?
It is important to stay healthy always. This can be done by:
- Exercising regularly for at least 30mins thrice a week.
- Having enough rest.
- Going for regular check-ups.
- Eating balance diet (each diet should contain all the food nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, protein, minerals vegetables, fruits, fat and oil).
- Drink water regularly (not only when you are thirsty)
There are 7 essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly. These are:
|FOOD NUTRIENT||EXAMPLES OF FOOD NUTRIENTS|
|Carbohydrates||Rice, kenkey, banku, yam, cassava, Gari, sugar, honey, bread etc.
|Protein||Egg, meat, fish, bean, milk, yoghurt, snail, oyster etc.|
|Vitamin||tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, mangoes, pawpaw, orange, water-melon, apple, kontomire, garden eggs okra, sweet potato, mushroom carrots, green peas, liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, butter, cheese, meat, oyster, etc.|
|Mineral||fruits and vegetables (banana, nut, milk, yoghurt, soymilk, oyster, snail, crab, pear, etc.)|
|Fats and oil||oil seeds (sesame and sunflower), maize oil, ground nut oil and breast-milk, egusi.|
|Fibre||pear, apple, pop-corn, maize, bread, bean, oats, potato.
|Water||Water, fruit-juices. breast-milk etc.|
HOW TO PREVENT
- Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water or clean them with alcohol-based hand sanitizer before touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing and sneezing. Ensure to dispose off the tissue in bin immediately after use. Then wash your hands with soap under running water or sanitize your hands with an alcohol–based sanitizer.
- Frequently, disinfect objects and surfaces you touch e.g. door locks, phones, computers, tables, chairs etc.
- Either you wash or sanitize your hands after handling money.
- Avoid crowds and keep at least one-meter (1m) distance away from people.
- Always wear an appropriate face or nose mask whenever you come into contact with people or when leaving home.
- Do not touch the front of your face or nose mask anytime it is on your face or nose.
- Make sure to sanitize your hands whenever you sit or get down from either public or private transports such as taxi, trotro, Uber, bus, train and aircraft.
- Try as much as possible to reduce the buying of cooked food from outside.
- If you are sick, always stay at home and call the emergency numbers provided as soon as possible.
PRECAUTIONS IN USING AN ALCOHOL-BASED SANITIZER!!!
- Do not sanitize your hands or any object when close to fire.
- Do not sanitize your car keys. It can cause fire to the car.
- Sanitizer should be kept away from gas cylinders.
- Keep the sanitizer out of reach of children.
WHAT IS STIGMATIZATION?
- It is the negative association between a person or group of people who share certain characteristics and specific disease.
- In an outbreak, this may mean people are labelled, stereotyped, discriminated against, treated separately, and/or experience loss of status because of a perceived link with a disease.
- Such treatment can negatively affect those with the disease, as well as their caregivers, family, friends and communities.
- People who do not have the disease but share other characteristics with this group may also suffer from stigma.
HOW CAN COVID-19 STIGMA BE AVOIDED?
COVID-19 is real and it is no respecter of persons. Therefore, anyone including you or a dear one can be infected.
- Do not associate COVID-19 with a particular race, tribe or group.
- Never call anyone discharged from an isolation center as COVID-19 patient, call them by their real names.
- Family and community members should not discriminate against those discharged from isolation centers, rather show them love and care.
- Be willing to be screened and tested of COVID-19 when the need be.
- Always get your facts on COVID-19 from reputable sources such as World Health Organization (WHO) and Ghana Health Service (GHS).
- Be ready to correct people with inaccurate information on COVID-19.
- Be willing to sell your products to everyone including those who have been discharged from isolation centers as well as their families.
- Do not point fingers at those discharged from isolation centers or report anyone who does that to the nearest police station.
- Report any landlord/landlady to the nearest police station if he/she ejects his/her tenant because he/she tested positive to COVID-19.
- Report any employer to the nearest police station if he/she dismisses his/her employee because he/she tested positive with COVID-19.
NFED READY TO IMPLEMENT COMPLEMENTARY BASIC EDUCATION (CBE).
The Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) joined the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) and Implementing Partners (IPs) in a three day Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Progress review meeting for cycle 5 at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra.
Complementary Basic Education (CBE) is an intervention to rope in out-of-school children (OOSC) between the ages of 8-14. These children are facilitated in their mother tongue for nine months. The graduates are then transitioned into formal education. Based on assessment some of the children start formal education at primary class three or four.
In a speech, the Hon. Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh lauded Civil Society and School for Life (SFL) for starting and sustaining the programme. He indicated that CBE as an intervention is not here to stay forever, but to help out-of-school children (OOSC) join their colleagues in the formal school.
Mr. Enoch Cobinna, the Chief Director of the Minister of Education also indicated that since the inspection of CBE in 2013, 248,556 out of-school children (OOSC) have transited to the formal school. He appreciated the National Steering Committee members, which he chairs for their dedication and commitment to the intervention.
Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) has through CBE been offering support to disadvantaged as well as disabled children.
CBE, hence, offer second chance to under privileged children to get enrolled into formal school.
The Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) came up for special commendation for their enormous contribution toward the success in the implementation of the CBE intervention.
Mr. Francis Asumadu, Director, Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) thanked the Crown Agents, United States of Agency for International Development (USAID) and Implementing Partners (IPs) for inviting the Division to participate in the review for cycle 5. He indicated that, the experience was engaging as the education. Mr. Asumadu, stated that the Division was ready to continue with the implementation of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) intervention, which process is not at much variance with the Non-Formal Education practise.
Non-Formal Education Division Holds Welfare Confab
This year’s National Welfare Executive Committee Conference of the Non-Formal Education Division of the MoE has been held in Kumasi. It brought together all national welfare executive committee members, regional welfare chairmen and specially invited guests to discuss issues relating the welfare of staff of the division.
Participants deliberated on the sustainability of the programmes of the division and ways to improve and expand the scope of its functions for national development. In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Edward Ocloo, impressed on participants to give their best to ensure a successful conference.
Delivering the keynote address on the topic: “Literacy and sustainable societies”, the acting Director of the NFED, Mr. Charles Darlington Afare, asked participants to be conscious of the role literacy played in the provision and sustainability of improved lifestyles of societies.
He stressed that literacy was not just about educating illiterate but also a unique and powerful tool to eradicate poverty and a strong means for social and human progress.
He briefed the conference on strides made so far in the process of ensuring that the NFED become an agency. Closing the conference, the Central Regional Director of the NFED, Mr. Gideon Kojo Fianya, thanked all participants for their active participation and reiterated that literacy was an effective way to enlighten and arm society to face the challenges of life.
That he said, would raise the level of personal living and ensure sustainability of development, peace and democracy in society.
CREDIT: Daily Graphic, Thursday, 10th September, 2015