We explore the topic in more detail and explain why a lack of school uniforms is preventing children from attending school in Ghana.
The lack of school uniforms has become an obstacle which has a negative impact on school attendance and education. Without having a school uniform, children are not allowed into school.
Ghana like most African countries is characterised by low incomes and high levels of poverty, hence the cost of school uniforms acts as one of the barriers to educational access. Although the government initiated a free school uniform programme in 2010, these have yet to be distributed to all eligible students throughout the country. Rural areas are particular affected.
When the parent or caretaker doesn’t have enough money to buy a uniform they don’t send the child to school. Also, when a child’s uniform gets torn and the parent can’t afford to fix it, the child will stop attending school. This increases the risk of children being exploited through child labour.
About 21 per cent of the children in Ghana are involved in child labour and 14 per cent are engaged in hazardous forms of labour. This is twice as common in rural areas. For poorer households, child labour is a negative coping mechanism and most of the children are involved in agriculture and fishing industries. In all regions, the vast majority of working children are unpaid family workers between the ages of 5 and 16.
It’s essential that we empower children to carry out their dreams, which first comes from believing in themselves. Something as small as a school uniform can help them on this journey.
Find out how you can help increase School Attendance in Ghana by Donating a School Uniform.