Source: All Africa
Actionaid Ghana (AAG), an international NGO, has encouraged investment in girl-child education to enable them to reach their aspirations. It says increased investment in girl-child education yields significant economic and social returns for Third World countries.

The Chairperson of the Board of AAG, Ms. Marilyn Aniwa, said these while ddressing the opening ceremony of a 10-day Annual Girls Camp which ended this week at the Achimota Basic School, Accra.

"Education is said to be most strategic of interventions for the empowerment of girls and women in the society. Investing in Girls and women education yields significant economic and social returns for developing countries such as us," she said.

The camp was organized under the theme "Empowering Girls Through Education: The Role of ICT."

As part of this year's camping, AAG is educating the girls on the use of ICTs because girls are limited in their usage of computers in some countries.

According to Ms Aniwa, the use of ICTs as an educational tool in the promotion of women's advancement has immense potential. "The application of ICTs as a tool for effective enhancement of learning, teaching and education management covers the entire spectrum of education from early childhood development, primary, secondary tertiary, basic education, further education and training."

Famous newscaster, Nana Aba Anamoa of TV3, who was one of the role models for the camp, advised the girls to hold onto their future aspirations and aspire to leadership roles.

In an interview, Katari Abdul Samed, a first year student of Central Lyceum Junior High School in the Northern Region and a beneficiary of the camping programme, said, "We have been taught many things since we came here on Tuesday, so far we have been taught personal hygiene, reading skills, and choosing good friends. I know it would sharpen my skills...when I go back home I would also teach my siblings and friends what I have been taught."

According to Dorothy Konadu, AAG's Educational Policy Adviser, the NGO collaborated with the Ghana Education Service, heads of schools in selecting the girls for the camping programme, adding, those selected for the programme were mostly students from remote areas.

She told Public Agenda that 145 girls were selected from various regions with the exception of the Western and Eastern Regions.

The main objective of the Girls camp was to educate young girls to fight poverty in the country, especially in the three Northern Regions where incidence of illiteracy is high. The three areas are also known to experience high school dropout rates, specifically among girls. Many of the girls are forced into marriages, thus denying them access to education.

The camp was also meant to encourage girls to develop their self-esteem and have aspirations for life that is higher enough to motivate them to stay in school and continue their education to a higher level. It therefore provided the girls from poor and deprived communities the opportunity to interact with high level professional women, exposing them to benefits of good education.

Action Aid Ghana has been working for the past 21 years in Ghana. It currently operates in six regions of the country where together with 20 local partner organizations it is helping over one million individuals and families to meet immediate needs and also claim basic rights.

It uses the camping strategy to ensure that people or children are able to exercise their right to education. The camp is also meant to expose girls to new ways of thinking that will open up possibilities for learning, networking and personal development.

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