Most girls in the Ashifla community in the Ga South Municipality are not enrolled in school as their parents and guardians cannot pay auxiliary fees, including examination and parent teacher association levies.
As a result of the situation, some of them are compelled to engage in amorous relationship with young guys in the locality especially ‘okada motobike’ riders to collect money to pay for these fees.
A number of young girls told the Ghana News Agency that aside their parents’ inability to pay those auxiliary fees, they also fail to provide other educational materials including; school uniforms and writing materials.
At a visit to the Ashifla Metro Assembly school, the GNA counted four females as against 12 male pupils at the Junior High School (JHS) Two classroom, while the JHS three class had 15 males and seven females.
Ms Aku Mensah, a second year pupil disclosed that some of her girlfriends had dropped out of school due to their inability to pay the levies.
She explained that majority of the petty labour task available in the area that could have helped them to raise some money themselves were tedious and girls could not undertake such tasks.
Mr Errol Ediemi Cudjoe, Assistant Headmaster of the Ashifla M/A school, said some of them complained about the difficulty in accessing funds from their parents to pay for educational materials.
“To be truthful, since we came to this school, the situation so far as enrolment is concerned has even changed. There are girls in the school now compared to the past years,” he said
Touching on the plight of pupils at the lower primary, the Assistant Headmaster said some of them solely depended on the free meal provided by the school.
Mr Edward Baah, School Management Committee Chairman, appealed to parents to support their children especially girls at school since they were agents of change and could help break the poverty cycle.
Madam She-Vera Anzagira, Greater Accra Regional Programme Manager, of ActionAid Ghana called on government to institute measures to ensure that public education was free, compulsory and of good quality and that there were no economic barriers to prevent families sending their girls to school.
She noted that some of the measures must include; addressing inequality by building progressive and expanded domestic tax systems, increase the share of the budget allocated to education and publish a clear breakdown of budget allocations by sub-sector online.
Madam Anzagira added that government needed to review education plans, budgets and spending to address educational inequalities as well as support increased analysis of education budgets and performance by civil society and promote greater accountability.
She said, “ActionAid believes that governments must ensure that their tax systems are fairer, more progressive and better able to raise the funds needed to keep the pledges they recently made at the Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference held in February 2018 and to ensure that all children – especially girls – are able to fully enjoy their right to a good quality education”.