The renowned Ghanaian educationist, Dr. KwegyirAggrey once famously said "if you educate a male you educate an individual but if you educate a female you educate a nation." This quote demonstrates the importance and the benefits to the society of female or girl-child education.
To give meaning to the above quote and to ensure that issues around female education are given priority attention, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) through Camfed Ghana provided funding for the establishment of a Girls' Education Network (GEN) which was on May 29, 2017 launched in Koforidua.
Seen as a step towards supporting the Girls' Education Unit (GEU) to achieve its mandate, the GEU, together with key stakeholders in girls' education in Ghana, took the initiative to establish the GEN and an Advisory Body. The GEN will be anchored on the Gender in Education Policy (GEP) and is a network of government departments and agencies, civil society organizations, donor partners, education coalitions and other practitioners interested in promoting quality education for girls in Ghana.
The philosophy underpinning the establishment of the GEN is premised on the fact that education, particularly girls' education, is a fundamental human right and key to breaking the cycle of poverty. It is envisaged that the GEN platform will enable the systematic coordination and monitoring of all current and future efforts for girls' education in Ghana in order to ensure that they align with the national vision for girls' education, as well as with the needs of all Ghanaian girls.
The work of the GEN is also intended to contribute towards the achievement of SDGs 4 and 5 and the actualisation of the GEP which aims to promote inclusive and quality education, and to achieve gender equality and empowerment for all girls.The Advisory Body of the GEN will, in an advisory capacity, provide strategic support and push ahead the functioning of the GEN agenda and help the GEU to achieve its mandate.
The Director of Basic Education and Acting Deputy Director-General of GES, Mrs. Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, expressed gratitude to the participants for their role in supporting girls' education and urged them to continue to work hard. Mrs. Bosumtwi-Sam affirmed the need for organisations in girls' education to get registered to allow for effective monitoring and evaluation of their activities in the country.
She charged the participants to propose practical policies and programmes on girls' education as they strengthen their network with education authorities as to how their policy proposals could be adopted and implemented. She launched the GEN and tasked the members to follow due processes and procedures in all of their consultations and deliberations with the GEU and other stakeholders.