The Executive Director, International Needs Ghana (INGH), Cromwell Awadey, has called on Ghanaians to recognize education as a public good that eradicates poverty and ignorance.
"Remember we have a responsibility to "Recover and Revitalize Education in this COVID Era," he said
At the celebration of the "International Day of Education" at Kanuwloe, a community in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, Mr. Awadey appealed to Ghanaians to embrace education wholeheartedly and set in motion the solutions to most of the problems in their homes and communities.
"These include child trafficking, child labour, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, inequality, gender-based violence. Education is a human right; no child should therefore be denied the right to education.
"This imposes obligations on all of us to promote access to education for all, ensuring that no one is left behind."
The Christian NGO director added that Goal 4 of the global agenda 2030 focuses on seeing children everywhere having access to inclusive and equitable quality education and equal access to affordable vocational training and to eliminate gender and wealth disparities with the aim of achieving universal access to a quality higher education.
"As we mark the day, we need to remember the effect of COVID-19 on education, especially as manifested in the closure of schools, spikes in child abuse and gender-based violence and more importantly children missing the opportunity to be in school and to learn."
UNESCO estimates that about 1.5 billion pupils and children were out of school during the peak of the pandemic.
This called for a concerted effort on our part to work together as stakeholders in ensuring that our children return to school, "he said.
According to him, closure of schools over the last 10 months affected over 5,000 learners on the INGH's programmes and out of that virtual learning reached only about 5%.
He added that the adolescent girls among these learners who had to stay home as a result of the school closure were exposed to multiple vulnerabilities including, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, trafficking and a host of other abuses.
He said his outfit stepped up its engagements with the communities, by strengthening Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs) to mitigate such consequences.
Rev. Isaac Quacoo, Education Manager, INGH, told GNA in an interview that some of the children had now tasted money and may not want to come back to school and so the INGH is backing the Ghana Education Service's "Back-to-School Campaign" with a programme that will run for three months.
"This will create awareness on the importance of education in a safe and healthy environment, promote a behaviour change towards the observance of the COVID-19 protocols and to provide counselling, referral services and learning materials to Learners," he said.