Ghana is composed of three principal ecological zones: the Coastal Savannah, the Forest and the Northern Savannah (Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions). The country’s economy is bolstered by cocoa production and gold-mining, which occur primarily in the south. By contrast, the north has a harsher environment and is characterised by seasonal southward migration of workers and their families. Ghana’s north has the highest rates of poverty and illiteracy in the country.


Main barriers to education

  • Lack of Financial and Material Resources
  • Inadequate School Infrastructure
  • Chronic Teacher Absenteeism
  • Gender Discrimination

Ghana has made remarkable progress towards achieving universal primary education and gender parity. However, problems regarding access to education remain, particularly for Ghana’s northern areas. According to Ghana’s Statistical Service, approximately one third of the country’s OOSC population reside therein.

Ghana’s education sector, especially in the north, is plagued by a plethora of demand and supply-related issues, which adversely impact the primary school-age population. Economic disparities between the north and south, are pervasive. For example, children in the North are four times more likely to be out of school than those in Ashanti in the South. A change within a household, such as the passing of a parent, can force a child out of school to provide for his/her family. A 2012 UNICEF study found that the aforementioned northern regions have a particularly high incidence of child labour among adolescents ages 5-14. Teacher absenteeism in Upper East and Northern is estimated at 30 percent and significantly higher in rural areas to boot.

To begin to meet the needs of Ghana’s OOSC in the North, EAC has partnered with Plan International to increase access to quality-primary education. Under the auspices of the School for Life (SFL) model, this project will mobilise target communities around the importance of education for all children, particularly girls; establish committees of parents and community members to oversee classrooms and track attendance; train upper-primary teachers on OOSC-specific integration; and support the transition of SFL graduates into formal schools.

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Reaching & Teaching OOSC in Ghana (REACH)

Reaching & Teaching OOSC in Ghana (REACH)

The EAC and Plan project, REACH is targeting 90,000 OOSC in the 22 poorest districts in the Northern, Upper West and Volta regions of the country where the need is greatest.


Plan International

Plan International has been working in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s, helping poor children to realise their right to health, education, food security and protection. EAC has partnered with Plan to ensure that hundreds of thousands of primary-school age children access quality education in Ghana and Uganda. Furthermore, EAC and Plan have collaborated to expand access to Speed Schools in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Through separate initiatives, EAC and Plan aim to reach 331,000 out of school children (OOSC) in Ghana, Uganda, and Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.