Right To Play in Ghana

Right To Play began working in Ghana in 2001 to support health and well-being activities, specifically vaccination campaigns. Since then, our programs have expanded to address quality education, gender equality, and child protection needs across the country. In collaboration with The LEGO Foundation, through our Partners in Play program, we will reach 3 million children and youth, as well as 75,000 educators by 2023.

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Over the next five years, we will focus on delivering high-quality programs in the three outcome areas of quality education, girls' empowerment, and health & well-being. We hope to reach 12,758,600 children & youth and 368,336 teachers and tutors by 2025 by:

  • Ensuring more children have access to inclusive and quality education
  • Improving the learning outcomes and holistic well-being of children and youth
  • Empowering more girls to rise above the barriers of gender-based violence and harmful practices
  • Strengthening partnerships with civil society organizations, community-based organizations, international NGOs, and academic institutions for lasting social impact

The challenges faced by children in Ghana

The Government of Ghana has made a major investment in education to transform Ghana into a “learning nation.” Free compulsory basic education was introduced in 1995, enabling Ghana to make significant progress on access and gender parity in pre-tertiary levels of education. However, children are not attaining expected learning outcomes due to the poor state of some educational infrastructure, inadequate teacher training and learning materials, and teachers with inadequate skills to increase child participation, interest, and motivation to learn.

Children in Ghana also continue to face serious protection issues. The child protection system in Ghana has been decentralized to improve the responsiveness and accessibility of services, but children are still subjected to various forms of violence and abuse. Approximately 14% of children aged 5 to 17 are still involved in hazardous forms of child labour and 57% of children (aged 14 to 17 years) said they were beaten at home, while 34% confirmed being beaten in school. Factoring in what they actually learn, children receive the equivalent of only 5.7 years of school by age 18. 29% of children in Ghana have no access to improved sanitation facilities, either at home or at school.

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Strengthening the education system for better learning outcomes

Right To Play’s comprehensive in-service teacher training program has been designed in alignment with the national curriculum to improve the teaching practice of pre-primary and primary school teachers.

In addition to working directly with 495 schools in seven target districts, Right To Play is working with the Government of Canada and The LEGO Foundation in supporting the Ministry of Education to reach all teachers in the 10,000 GALOP-designated primary schools by assisting in the effective implementation of in-service education and training and school-level professional development plans. Right To Play is also supporting the integration of play-based learning into the teacher training, coaching and mentoring, and assessment materials used by master trainers, district support teams, and teacher champions. Right To Play will also work closely with parents in order to sensitize them to support play-based learning (PBL) methodologies and to strengthen their involvement in school governance through Parents Teacher Associations.

In an effort to integrate play-based learning in pre-service teacher training, Right To Play is working in partnership with the University of Education, Winneba to create a centre of excellence that will link the university’s departments, teacher training colleges, and selected primary schools. These model schools will serve as practicum sites for student teachers and as research sites for further study of the effectiveness of play-based learning approaches.

"The benefits of play-based approaches to learning to children include increased ownership [over their education]… Because they are involved in an activity, they don’t forget what they’ve learned and are able to transfer knowledge to other topics. The approach promotes teamwork and builds leadership skills… The relationship between teacher and student that develops as a result of the approach is cordial. Everything is done together.” – Teacher trainer

Changing harmful gender norms and empowering girls to lead

Ending all forms of discrimination against girls and women is crucial for a sustainable future. To support girls and young women to meaningfully participate in education and socio-economic development, Right To Play will build the capacities and confidence of girls. Initiatives such as girls’ clubs, mentorship programs, and peer support will increase girls’ capacity to advocate against gender discrimination and gender-based violence, as well as speak out and stand up for their rights and those of their peers. Men and boys will be engaged to become active partners of change, as well as help to empower girls and young women through school, community clubs and community-based organizations (CBOs) as the entry points, and incrementally expand to broaden gender equality promotion.

Right To Play, through the implementation of gender responsive play-based teaching techniques, will engage teachers, parents, caregivers, and other community members in promoting girls’ rights.

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Creating safe and healthy schools and communities

Right To Play has also built the capacities of teachers, children, and government officials to strengthen healthy water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices in schools and more adequate sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. We have established more than 265 school health clubs in six regions to empower children to engage their parents, caregivers, authorities, and community members on hygiene promotion through WASH-themed play days, clean-up campaigns, and house-to-house visits.

Many clubs have constructed tippy taps at their schools, resulting in significant improvements in handwashing behaviour. We use playful approaches to starting conversations about the importance of improved menstrual hygiene management, helping to remove the taboos associated with discussing menstrual hygiene in public. We are also co-implementing the five-year Sexual Health and Reproductive Education (SHARE) project aimed at improving access to SRH education and gender-responsive health care for young people, especially girls and young women targeted at 225,000 adolescents and youth (10-24 years), by 2026.

We have equipped Community Child Protection Committees and community mobilizers in cocoa-growing communities to ensure that they effectively realize their mandate to identify, document, and refer cases of child labour and abuse. In an effort to encourage working children to return to and stay in school, we have trained teachers on how to create welcoming classroom environments and supported parent teacher associations to undertake school improvement initiatives.

Under this priority area, we will continue to focus on young people below the age of 24 years, with specific interest in the health needs of the most vulnerable young populations like adolescent girls and children with special needs or children with disabilities.

Get updates on our work in Ghana

Right To Play was one of the key technical partners in the development of Ghana’s early childhood education policy and kindergarten curriculum, and subsequently supported the development of the kindergarten in-service training framework. Working with the Ghana Education Service, National Teaching Council, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, and district officials, Right To Play is now assisting in the district-level roll-out of the revised basic education curriculum.

In 2018, Right To Play launched the Gender Responsive Education and Transformation (GREAT) program with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada. Active in three countries, Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda, GREAT uses Right To Play's play-based learning approach to remove barriers to education, especially for girls, and to build teacher capacity to improve learning outcomes.

Our programs in Ghana are also supported by UNICEF, the Lego Foundation, Water Aid, FAWE, and supporters like you.

Contact our Ghana office
No. 24 Sunflower Street, East Legon
Accra, Ghana
P.O. Box OS 1646, Osu - Accra
Phone:​ +233 (0)30 703 8353

More info on our work in Ghana