Parliament urges government to curtail school dropout rate

Parliament on Thursday urged government to deal with the debacle of early school dropouts to enhance the country’s strategic aim of using education to eradicate extreme poverty.

The Legislators contend that the marked rise in early school dropouts, particularly at the basic and Junior High School (JHS) levels in rural and peri-urban communities in Ghana could in the long term deepen the cycle of indigence.

The lawmakers raised the concern when contributing to a statement made on the floor of Parliament by Mrs. Rosemond Comfort Abrah, MP for Weija/Gbawe Constituency drawing attention to the dwindling primary and JHS completion rates in the country.

Mrs. Abrah informed the House that the completion rates at the primary level showed an astounding increase in dropout rates from 2008 to 2012, with the trend gearing from 88.7 per cent to 95.7 per cent in that period.

She noted that the rates were even more worrisome for the girl-child, as the gender disparity within the same period was not encouraging, attributing the situation to poor academic performance, financial, cultural and behavioral reasons.

Even though the MP commend the efforts of the current and previous governments to keep a tight rein on early school dropouts at the basic level, she called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to curb the problem.

Mrs. Abrah called on government to improve on critical interventions like the provision of more educational infrastructures and enhance other financial support such as capitation and feeding grants.

She also exhorted parents to be responsive to the educational needs of their children.

Mr. Alex Agyekum, MP for Mpohor attributed the drop out rates in rural communities to parents who forced their children into early marriages.

He urged other legislators to address the issue in their constituencies to ensure that children stayed in school and were not deprived of their right to education because of parental considerations.

Mr. Dominic Napare, MP for Sene ascribed the increasing dropout rates to the dereliction of duty by teachers to pursue further education.

He implored the Ghana Education Service to control the rate at which teachers abandoned the classrooms and to ensure that more teachers remained at post to teach. GNA

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