The Wulugu Work Ethic – Part One

Learning skills that pay the bills at Buipe!!

I arrived at Buipe, one of the sites at which the Wulugu project operates in Ghana, to be met with a warm welcome. The head teacher is a very tall Ghanaian lady dressed in traditional clothing; she has an air of authority about her which I find intimidating but reassuring; this might be why the school is so quiet despite lessons going on in the next room! This centre teaches dressmaking, hairdressing, catering, weaving, batik tie-die and now secretarial skills with computer literacy thanks to the provision of 6 computers through COCO earlier in the year.

Girls of all different backgrounds are considered for enrolment; even those who have not completed primary school can study most subjects. Core subjects are taught alongside the practical skills to provide an all-round education and set the girls up for employment once they have sat their final exams. It’s not always as straightforward as that though – this year there has been a delay in the results of the girl’s exams which they took in June due to an administration error at the education authority!

Attending this centre costs 18 cedis per term and there are 3 terms in the year, 54 cedis in total (£24). Most of the courses take between 1 and a half to 2 years and this seems to be affordable for most of the girls although many have to pay in instalments. In addition to the fees, the girls must provide their own food; although many of them travel from far away so carrying sufficient yam or rice for a term is not always possible. The fees paid by the girls go towards the maintenance of the school, electricity, tables, chairs and repairs as well as the provision of resources required for practical lessons such as material, thread, hair products and fabric die. As the school is constantly under resourced, COCO also provided some funding for these materials.

I’ll talk a little about the sort of impact this assistance has had in my next post, watch this space…

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