The 11th October marked the International Day of the Girl Child. Over the last few weeks we have been learning from girls in the communities we work in how they are striving to reach their dreams as they continue to commit to their education even during this challenging time whilst schools are closed.

Our transformational teacher training programme aims to improve early years’ education for all children. Challenging gender stereotypes and empowering girls is embedded in the teaching methodology.

This year saw education interrupted while the world closed down due to COVID-19. Kindergarten children in Ghana haven’t been to school since early March. We have been supporting children to continue their learning at home through our Say, Sing, Shine radio programme in partnership with 12 Ghana Education Service Districts Directorates.

In many rural communities in Ghana families do not have a television or radio. Our Say, Sing, Shine radio programme reaches them through a mobile Community Public Address System, which is delivered in two local languages. The community teachers have been championing the radio programme and encouraging children to listen and take part in the activities.  Whilst the programme is produced for kindergarten age children the COMPAS system is in a public place and children of all ages have been listening, as many have not been able to access any remote learning during the pandemic.

*Doris, Comfort and Ama are three such children who, like many, joined the kindergarten children and found the radio programme a fun thing to be involved in. See how the radio programme has inspired them to think about their future career goals and get creative with clay!

Doris, 10 years old. “I am happy that I’m learning through this radio programme. I take part in the activities the radio story teller asks us to do because it is helping me to be active. … I like the way the radio story teller asks us questions and the songs we learn. My dream is to become a lawyer in Ghana. It is because I want my house to be peaceful. I want my teacher to teach me well, that is, she should teach me all that I need to know which will help me to become a lawyer”

Comfort, 11 years old. “The radio story teller told us about a nurse who advised a young girl about coronavirus. I like what the nurse did so I wish that in future, I will be a nurse. I want to be a nurse so that when people fall sick, they won’t die early. I want to always be in school to learn hard so that my dream of becoming a nurse can come true. I was not happy when schools were closed down because I miss my teacher and friends, but I was told because of corona virus, we have to be home. I heard people are dying because of the virus and I feel sad, so I want to learn hard and become a nurse so I can save them.

Ama, 10 years old. “I am happy that this radio programme is helping me to learn even though schools are closed. I want to become a teacher in the future. My reason is that I want to help younger people to learn. I also admire my teacher a lot because she teaches me to understand. I just want to be like her to help teach other children too as well. I am a girl and I want to be treated the same way my brother will be treated. I want to go to school and become a good citizen and help others.

This project is funded with UK aid from the British people.

 *names have been changed to protect identity.