According to the Human Development Index, in 2010 Ghana was ranked at 130 out of 169 countries. 30% of the population live on less than $1.50 a day, while 56% live on less than $2. However, of the relevant MDGs, goals 1 and 2 have progressed significantly and Ghana is likely to attain them by 2015. MDG 3 is likely to be partially achieved. Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report Card: Measuring Progress Across Countries.  However, the United Nations in Ghana report that the country’s status as a middle income country with high GDP growth has not consistently improved HDIs across the country. Ghana faces significant challenges due to wide disparities in regional and district poverty levels. This includes Gbawe, which is “off track” on all three of these MDGs, a situation this project will alleviate and in so doing support the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda 2010-2013 which highlights education as key.  In particular this will be done by targeting girls and women as they currently underperform across all the main social indicators; their educational attainment is poor.

Formerly a rural farming community of 837 people (1984) Gbawe has become an urbanised centre, characterised by massive immigration from the countryside – currently the population is 44,645  (GeoNames geographical database). This 5,334% increase has contributed to significant social stress, strain on town infrastructure, water and sanitation problems. Many residents have limited formal education and basic skills, and poor access to vocational training locally. Consequently unemployment is high (45%) Africa Education News -Oct.2012).  The community has no agricultural land to cultivate, and as no basic social security is provided, the hardest challenges fall on the civil society and local initiatives. Schools are overwhelmed: class sizes are up to 65 students in primary schools and 45 in junior high schools. The individual attention the students’ needs, particularly the many facing disadvantages, is beyond the teachers’ capacity.

Ghanaian children
Photo courtesy of Flickr