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The United Kingdom Department (DFID) in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the Government in expanding access to basic education.

The memorandum is part of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) initiative

The CBE is a ground-breaking approach that teaches disadvantaged Out-Of-School-Children how to read and write within a nine-month period so that they could enter primary school at class three or four.

Mr Andrew Karas, Acting USAID/Ghana Mission Director, speaking at the signing, said the collaboration is to ensure that every child is put in school and given the opportunity to learn to improve their lives.

He said this would transform the economy, help build human capacity as the teaching and learning package for these children has been translated into 12 local languages with classes taught in the afternoon by trained volunteer senior high school graduates resident in the communities.

Ms Lynne Henderson, DFID Acting Country Director, said there is the need to close the gap in education and this could be done by providing alternative education for the children through the CBE initiative.

Ms Henderson said the UK government, through the DFID would provide nearly € 18 million in support of the programme, which focuses on where the greatest number of out-of-school children live.

She said with the additional $ 16million from the US they would aim at ensuring that more than 200,000 out-of-school children have a second change to go to school and learn.

Ms Henderson said the programme seems to have worked because it is grounded in communities where dedication and energy have been channelled into the programme.

She urged the Government of Ghana to ensure the sustainability of the programme when the MoU ends in 2018 and the country is in full control of financing and management of the project since it gives every child the ability to create and fulfil their potential.

Prof Naana Jane Opoku –Agyemang, Minister of Education, expressed gratitude to DFID and USAID for the programme, adding it would pave way for Ghana to achieve universal primary education.

The Minister said this is of grave importance since it makes use of the local dialect as it would enhance the reading and allow the children to communicate effectively as far as communicating with their parents is concern.

She thanked the two partners for showing support in diverse ways towards the development of the economy and the country at large.

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