The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Purim Africa Youth Development platform (PAYDP), Complementary Education Agency (CEA) and the various Vocational Institutes and Associations have organised a consultative session to ensure the integration of a standardized national curriculum to engage the youth in the non-formal sector.
The meeting was for the development of a Manual towards reproductive health education in the informal sector to support those in apprenticeships to have some guidelines to help them understand issues relating to reproductive health education.
The meeting brought about developmental issues, updates and how to implement gender-sensitive modules to tackle the existing inequalities and discriminations faced by youth in marginalized groups, particularly, girls involved in Head Pottering also known as ‘’Kayayei’’.
During the meeting issues such as the lack of information, no documented Manual for the Associations to use when engaging with adolescents, issues of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) not being discussed with apprentices, and how to protect themselves from falling or when they fall victim to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) were raised.
The meeting emphasized that apprentices who go through SGBV do not have information on how to address these issues. Those with guardians who are not their biological parents complain about ill-treatment.
Also, Masters and Mistresses do not know how to deal with the challenges that their apprentices face.
Acting Director-General of Non-Formal Education of CEA, Francis Asumedu said the meeting is a step in the right direction and will help the actualization of the Manual which has not been in use since 2014 for several reasons and was also not sent to the Ministry of Education for evaluation and approval.
Speaking at the National Consultative meeting Programme Specialist Adolescent and Youth Adwoa Nyanteng Yenyi said “the meeting is timely in the sense that it will help us develop, update and implement gender-sensitive modules to tackle existing inequalities faced by the youth especially girls in the non-formal sector as well as discrimination of other marginalized groups such as the Kayayei and those in extreme poverty.”
Executive Director of Purim African Youth Development Platform (PAYDP), Mrs Aku Hornam Kevin, in her presentation, said NFED and CEA as part of their National Literacy Programme have a manual that has some components of SRH, but this is scattered at different units of the manual.
The manual is currently at the stage of reviewing and intends to update the modules on SRH to make it a National Document which has now been given to a consultant for drafting and to include some of the views of the Associations which are not in the Manual.
The meeting ended with the consultant tasked to come up with a roadmap on the first draft and timelines. The first draft, when worked on, will be submitted to the stakeholders for further consultation with the Regions and the Associations through PAYDP and later to the CEA for approval and then sent to the Ministry of Education, then to Cabinet and finally to Parliament for passage into Law.