A total of 266 out-of-school girls in the Jirapa municipality of the Upper West Region have successfully graduated from a six-month skill training programme organized by ProNet North Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) operating in the area.
The girls were enrolled under the “nonformal track” of a multi-stakeholder program known as the Strategic Approaches To Girls Education (STAGE) project which seeks to equip them with skills that will reduce their vulnerabilities in society.
The vulnerable out of school girls who were trained in weaving, hairdressing, soap making, smock sewing, beads and sandals making as well as baking were presented with certificates from the National Vocation Training Institute (NVTI).
The Country Director of ProNet North Ghana, Mr. Martin Dery, speaking at the graduation ceremony charged the girls to put the skills learned to use in other to better their lives.
He said “today marks the beginning of a great milestone in your lives. We hope that you will put into practice all the skills you have acquired in this period of training. We will continue to monitor and follow your progress to ensure that you do not only empower yourselves but also impact the larger society with all the skills you have learned”.
He advised the graduates to put themselves into groups and co-operatives to enable them to access support from financial institutions.
The director used the occasion to appeal to the community to patronize to services of the girls; saying, that will motivate the girls to put off their best after the training.
The northern sector programs manager of World Education Incorporate, the leading partner of the STAGE project, Stephen Konde commended the girls for successfully going through the training program and asked them to take the training seriously.
He said his outfit and all the other implementing partners will work assiduously to ensure that girls in the implementing communities are not discriminated against because of their vulnerabilities.
Available records from the Upper West regional department of children indicate that over 20,000 children of school-going age are currently out of school while more than 1,000 schoolgirls get married before they complete their Junior High education.
The five-year STAGE project is therefore aimed at enrolling a total of 10,125 vulnerable out-of-school girls within the period of its implementation in the “formal track” where they will be taught in their mother tongues until they progress into the formal school system.
The 266 graduates are the first badge of another 1,125 girls who have enrolled in the “non-formal track” for skills training that they can apply to ensure their vulnerabilities are reduced in society.
Some of the girls who interacted with Citi News were full of praise to ProNet north for the training.
The STAGE project is implemented by World Education Inc. Ghana with ProNet North Ghana as downstream partners.
It is supported by PWC and funded by the UKAID.