UNESCO Partners Review Meeting in the Domain of Education for Health and Wellbeing
UNESCO organized a two-day Annual Partners Review Meeting aimed at providing a platform for its implementing partners working under the Education for Health and Wellbeing programme to take stock of key success, challenges, and lessons learned over the 2020 implementations and ways to improve overall implementation for better results in 2021.
The Education for Health and wellbeing programme in Ghana like other jurisdictions within UNESCO’s operations, seeks to improve sexual and reproductive health, gender, and education outcomes for adolescents and young people and eliminating gender-based violence in selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa through sustained reductions in new HIV/STI infections, early and unintended pregnancy and gender-based violence. The project is in line with the UNESCO Strategy on Health and Well Being and the UNAIDS Fast Track Strategy (2016-2021).
The implementing partners included both Government Agencies (Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and University of Cape Coast) and various CSO’s NORSAAC, Savana Signatures, Curious Minds, Hope For Future Generation and International Child Development Program (ICPD).
In attendance from the United Nations front in Ghana was Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo (UNESCO Country Director), Mr. Niyi Ojuolape (UNFPA Country Director), Mr. Francis Chisaka Kasolo (WHO Country Director), Ms. Angela Trenton-Mbonde (UNAIDS Country Director). From the government front, Mrs. Ama Serwah Nerquaye Tetteh (Secretary-General, Ghana National Commission for UNESCO) was present and also represented the Minister of Education. In their remarks, they emphasized the importance of Reproductive Health Education has essential for young people to avoid unwanted pregnancy, New infections of HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections, promote good values, mutual respect, and non-violence in relationships, and support a safe transition into adulthood.
On behalf of the Minister of Education, Mrs. Ama Serwah Nerquaye Tetteh, highlighted the important contribution of UNESCO in strengthening the Education sytems though capacity building, development of appropriate policies, Teaching and Learning Materials, to better respond to the needs of learners against new infections of HIV, Early unitended pregnancy, School Related Gender Based Voilence and promoting safe school environment. The Minister called on CSOs as well as other partners to collaborate with the Minstry of Education and ensure synergy in their work to better promote quality education.
Partners who participated in the two-day review meeting were delighted to share insights on their various projects but also found interesting and best practices from other partners that can be adopted. Particularly, both governmental and non-governmental partners appreciated the need to ensure close collaboration and synergy of all programme that will complement the overall education sector plan in the area of health and well-being for learners.
Whiles acknowledging various challenges faced during the implementation, including the impact of school closure on school level engagements of young people, weak collaborations, there was a general consensus for regular review meeting to enhance collaboration and synergy of activities.
Partners recommended that UNESCO advocates for the inclusion of RHE in the curriculum of the teacher training schools to ensure teachers are equipped with basic RHE after completing their courses.