Rural Heights Foundation Collaborates With Junior Camp Ghana to Mentor Students
Category : Rural Education Support
With youth unemployment in Ghana and in most Sub-Saharan African economies soaring, the need to open up new market spaces and create conditions for social innovation is without doubt the most critical policy imperative that occupies any government which may be interested in private sector growth. This recognition provided context for a recent social entrepreneurship workshop that was organized by Rural Heights Foundation, a nonprofit that intervenes in primary and secondary education and also women economic empowerment in rural Ghana. The workshop, which was organized for the entrepreneurship club of Apam Senior High School, resulted in a resounding success in terms of reach and impact. Students were taken through a business model generation simulator that enabled participants gain working knowledge of how to create competitive and possibly, disruptive business models in both orthodox and unorthodox market spaces. The emphasis on evolving trends in digital content and mobile technology was a key feature of the workshop as participants were encouraged to acquire new-economy skill sets in addition to the traditional functional and generic skills that Ghana’s educational curriculum provides.
Over 40 members of the Entrepreneurship Club participated in the workshop, acknowledging through post-event feedback, the benefits accrued in terms of new knowledge acquired. The project was co-facilitated by Junior Camp Ghana, an NGO that focus on mentoring Senior High students to succeed in life.
The Big Picture
Most of Rural Heights Foundation’s current interventions are in Gomoa West district where educational outcomes at the Basic and Primary levels clearly suggests a weakening of fundamentals that serve as critical drivers of academic performance. According to information from Ghana Education Service, in 2011, 70% of all students who sat for Basic Entrance and Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E) in Gomoa West, failed and therefore were unable to progress to Senior High School. For the past three years (2011-2014), average pass rate of B.E.C.E candidates for Gomoa West was 31.79% (Data sourced from Ghana Education Service and District Directorate of Education, Apam). This workshop was therefore an integral part of executing the Foundation’s theory of change, which states that; improved academic outcomes are tightly coupled with two interlocking drivers: 1. an empowered teaching staff that employ innovative approaches to enhance learning experience and 2. A program of instruction that aligns pedagogy and content with the emerging demands of the global market.