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The Best Gift A Parent Can Give

Before this year, 13-year-old Nfarib from northern Ghana had never set foot inside a classroom. Sadly, she is not unique as more than 300,000 primary-level children are out of school in the country.

The Best Gift A Parent Can Give
March 28, 2017
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They face numerous barriers to education, including poverty, child labour, and long-standing cultural practices that limit chances, especially for girls.
 
Nfarib’s parents are farmers and neither ever attended school. They were concerned about the cost of schooling and did not see the value in education. Nfarib is the second of five children and cared for her siblings when her parents were busy farming.
 
A key moment in Nfarib’s life occurred when her parents learned of the Reaching and Teaching Out of School Children (REACH) programme that promotes quality primary education for children. Initially hesitant to enroltheir daughter, they eventually decided to give her the chance of an education.
 
REACH is a five-year partnership between Educate A Child (EAC), Plan International and Ghana’s Ministry of Education, seeking to enable some of Ghana’s most disadvantaged out of school children (OOSC) to enter formal education. It offers accelerated-learning programmes, so children can catch up on missed schooling and comfortably transition to formal settings.
 
The REACH project staff noticed that Nfarib was thriving at school and spoke with her parents, who were thinking of taking her out of the classroom, convincing them that their daughter belonged in school. Nfarib’s mother Maanyi said, “We know that she is brilliant… During the meeting with Plan International, we were made to understand that education is the best gift a parent can give their children.” Nfarib is one of 90,000 OOSC who EAC and Plan International hope to help through REACH. She graduated top of her class and has now entered class 5. Her teacher says, “It is a huge achievement for a child who has never been to school before.”
 
Nfarib sees a brighter future for herself; one where she could be the first female medical doctor in a town without health services. “I want to be a doctor and with my parents’ support I will achieve my dream,” she says.