Advancing digital technology for youth in Ghana

At the Wataniya Islamic Basic School in Kumasi-Aboabo, a group of pupils and parents converged for the first Leadership and Soft Skills summit in the Ashanti Region. Among the sixty pupils is first year junior high school pupil, Fauzia Abdul Hamid. Her dreams of becoming a leader who will bring positive change to her community received a boost after the summit.

“I will never give up in life, no matter how difficult the task or situation is. I will strive hard to overcome my struggles and avoid distractions in order to succeed and be great,’’ she said during the ‘experience share’ session after the leadership and soft skills training.

United Way Ghana, in collaboration with Lead Afrique International, organized the maiden edition of the summit on Thursday, February 13th, 2020 to train pupils on basic leadership and soft skills including public speaking, goal setting and finding personal values.

In a separate session, facilitators interacted with parents on how to develop a better relationship with children, support quality education and to help their wards achieve their goals.

“Parenting is a very special responsibility and the outcome and future of a child lies a lot on how their parents relate with them and even train them. We are approaching this summit in two ways: training children on how to be responsible leaders and have soft skills as well as engaging parents to step up their role and be more supportive of their wards,” said Grace Braimah, Project Officer for United Way Ghana.

Facilitator from LeadAfrique International, Frederick Turkson, used the concept of play activities including ‘musical chairs’ and ‘pick and share’ games, to engage the pupils from primary to junior high divisions, in order to improve the critical thinking abilities of the children and the relevance of keeping a positive outlook of life.

In the session for parents and guardians, Hajia Radiyatu Baka Saad, a ward’s mother, raised a unanimous concern of most of the parents in the gathering, regarding the use of corporal punishment to discipline the child. She lamented the lack of support from family and friends when the child is being disciplined physically or scolded. In a response, co-founder of Lead Afrique International and facilitator, Letitia Ohene- Effah, encouraged parents to make their children their close friends. “If your child is your friend, they will be open and consult you for advice or when taking decisions.

Parents were advised to serve as each other’s guardian and refrain from supporting any action that would not help create a better future for the child.

Headteacher of Wataniya Islamic School, Alhaji Shakib Hausa, said the leadership and soft skills development training will go a long way to help pupils improve on their learning skills and change their attitudes towards studies. “We are grateful for the leadership and soft skills development training given to our pupils and we expect to see the facilitators more often for continuous training and improvement,” Alhaji Hausa added. He was impressed with the parent turn-out and said it this showed that interest in the welfare of their wards is paramount.

The Leadership and Soft Skills Development Summit falls under United Way Ghana’s Improving Basic Education (IBE) programme. Through IBE, United Way Ghana is contributing to advancing Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education With quality education being a cornerstone of sustainable development, United Way Ghana’s efforts are helping the country to achieve the SDG 4 targets of improving access to quality education and making schools safer and enabling, to shape the future of young children positively.

Support the work of United Way Ghana, visit www.unitedwaygh.org to join the hand raisers, game changers and impact makers.

Advancing digital technology for youth in Ghana