The Role for the Bicycle in Rural Ghanaian Education
According to the “Our Africa” website, education is seen as the key to developing Ghana into a true middle-income nation. Yet, an estimated 40% of school-age children in certain rural areas of the country appear not to be enrolled in school, at all.
Children from the poorest households, with limited numbers of nearby school buildings, are still three times more likely to be out of school than wealthier children.
While 80% of Ghana’s children are enrolled in schools, 30.4% of rural male and 28.6% of rural female children were out of school, in 2008.
The Ghanaian Statistical Service estimated, in 2008, that 30% of Ghanaians don’t have a school within their community, resulting in many children having to walk long distances to school. This situation, not surprisingly, negatively impacts attendance and learning quality.
Enrollment of school-age girls is especially impacted negatively by school distance. According to UNESCO, a study on the impact of providing bicycles for girls commuting long distances to school disclosed a 600% increase in girls’ school enrollment in some northern Ghanaian communities.