World Children’s Day: 1.2m children in Ghana not attending school – GSS

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed that 1,215,546 children of school-going age in Ghana are not attending school.

A substantial 942,427 of the 1.2 million children have never attended school.

These findings emanate from the 2021 PHC Thematic Brief on Childhood Vulnerabilities in Ghana, which presents statistics on children in Ghana focusing on the number and distribution of vulnerable children and the correlates of child vulnerabilities.

The statistics were released as part of activities to commemorate World Children’s Day which is celebrated each year on 20th November to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.

The newly created Savannah Region tops the country with the highest number of children who have never attended school. 43.2 percent of the figure in the region have never attended school and can neither read nor write.

Also, the report revealed that over a quarter of a million children (275,562), 5 to 17 years have difficulty in performing activities in at least one of the following domains: sight, hearing, physical (walking or climbing stairs), intellectual (remembering or concentrating), self-care, and speech.

The poverty levels in which these children live are also appalling as the report “further indicates that one-third of the household population under 18 years representing 3,862,259 children are multidimensionally poor. The regions with the highest numbers, Greater Accra (550, 118) and Ashanti (539, 048) have more than half a million children each being multidimensionally poor.”

Availability of shelter for these children is another concern, as over 3,000 children in the Greater Accra Region sleep rough in the open.

“There are 5,976 children in Ghana living without shelter, i.e. sleeping outdoors. About two in every five (43.6%) of the children without shelter are in the Greater Accra Region, which has the highest share followed by the Ashanti (15.7%) and Eastern (5.4%) regions.”

World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.

This year’s celebration is under the theme: Inclusion, For Every Child.