Ghana School girls to get free sanitary pads as pupils learn on blocks

by Kofi Ayim

The government of Ghana has indicated that it would slice a chunk of a $156.00 million World Bank loan to purchase sanitary pads for distribution to school girls in rural areas. This, the government argues, would help stem school dropout for girls. The measure was approved by Ghana’s Parliament in early July. The loan is primarily aimed at improving Secondary School Education, and the government of Ghana intimates that the sanitary pad project is an important component of the bigger picture. Both the World Bank and Ghana’s Ministry of Education believe it is a prudent project. However, many policy and education analysts as well as a section of Ghana’s media believe the sanitary pad project is a misplaced priority in the overall improvement of the education system in Ghana’s secondary schools. Research from world renowned institutions has established that the project would have little or no effect on the quality of education, and could potentially have negative socio-educational effects on the school girls that the project intends to help. Both critics and observers believe that government should rather solidify the foundation of education from kindergarten and pre-school levels so school children cultivate and nurture education as part of their lives. “When school children sit and write on cinder blocks, there is bound to be no educational motivation for them at early development of their lives. They may drop out before they qualify for the pads” a New York based educationist told this writer. “The aim may be good, but given what we know about Ghana the sanitary pads project would be a cash cow for some government officials. And how long will the project be sustainable?” added a New Jersey medical practitioner. Yet others wonder aloud whether it is a government’s ploy to woe and win the vote of poor school girls in 2016 elections.
Ghana and the World Bank at the end of last month signed a financing agreement for the $156 million dollars loan. Finance Minister Mr. Seth Tekper signed for Ghana while Mr Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director, signed on behalf of his institution. Mr. Crookes said the project would enable about 10,000 students to have access to education and support more than 100 existing Senior High Schools.

Posted by on Aug 20 2014. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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