An education is a right, not a privilege. Without the basics – reading and writing – students cannot continue onto secondary level education. And experience shows that those who read and write have healthier families and earn more.

 Poor teaching perpetuates poverty

Unfortunately thousands of children are held back by poor education. Four out of every five adults are illiterate. Many lack the basic skills to be able to keep accounts, hold down any but the lowest level job, or support themselves in farming and trade. By teaching Ghanaian children living in poverty, to read and write, you can save them from a lifetime of struggle, malnutrition and poor health and give them the chance to make a success of their lives and help to transform their nation.

We need £155,000 to change the lives of 40,000 children forever. By supporting the School for Life programme, you can teach children to read and write for as little as £4 per child.  Each £1 you give will be matched by a further £2 from Comic Relief to change even more lives.

Your donation can make a real difference:

  • £20 will provide a day’s training for a teacher
  • £50 will provide a teacher with a resource pack with teaching aids, visuals and activities for use in the classroom
  • £100 will provide a workshop for regional trainers

Mohemmed, District Coodinator in Salvelugu, says

Mohemmed Awal is the District Coordinator and is in charge of the day-to-day activities of School for Life in Savelugu (one of the eight districts in the Northern Region the programme operates). On a weekly basis he monitors teacher’s work in the classroom and checks teachers and children school attendance in each of the schools. He is in constant communication with Head Teachers and teachers to discuss how to better use materials and teaching methods. He also gets involved with the School Management Committee and parents to help them govern the schools better.

Mohemmed has become invaluable as an impetus for ongoing improvement; ensuring the training is implemented and that the school and local Ghana Education Service deliver better results for the children. He sees great improvements and is encouraged by the increase in attendance and motivation of teachers and children in schools.

Mohemmed has worked on the project for three years. He started as a volunteer teacher himself some 15 years ago. He lived in Yendi (another district in the Northern Region) and saw that no one could read and write. He had very little education himself, so he was motivated to help others have a better education.

One of things that really worries Mohemmed is the children who still are not at school, especially in the rural areas. He also sees so many schools without enough desks for the children or books for them to share and write in.


Less than one in ten pupils leave education with the minimum level of literacy and numeracy.


Tzedek spent time in the Northern Region of Ghana speaking to key stakeholders to find out.  It became clear there were three key issues: a lack of resources; poorly trained teachers; and teachers – many of whom were passionate about giving their pupils a chance – lacked access to the support that would help them do their jobs successfully. Poor teaching leads to poor results.

There is an opportunity to make a transformative difference to thousands of lives through a programme of training and support for teachers.

We identified a partner in the Northern Region of Ghana, School for Life. School for Life have a proven track record of delivering complementary education in rural areas. They were keen to expand their work into the formal education system. Together we have developed a programme that addresses these root causes of children’s failure to learn effectively in primary school.

In December 2012 Comic Relief awarded £373,000 to Tzedek to support this project, on condition it is matched by a further £155,000 from the Jewish Community.  This vote of confidence by one of the most professional funders in the sector demonstrates the potential of the School for Life project – potential that has been borne out by our early pilot results.

Early success

Our evaluation of the pilot six months later showed test results 8% higher than control schools results.  Children reported a qualitative better experience in class and said that they like the Tzedek project because “we learn faster” and “get to be involved in making resources”. Teachers reported feeling better equipped to do their jobs.

‘The level of the children’s understanding has increased and the teachers are doing much better’ Participant at the Saboba focus group for School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Association, March 2013

‘This project has been an eye opener, making the child really involved in the learning’ Caroline Addal, head teacher at Boakoln S.D.A Primary, Saboba

The School for Life programme

The Tzedek School for Life project brings innovative methods and resources to teachers. We train teachers to be more resourceful and help them get support by also training head teachers, school management teams and regional supervising staff.

Over the next three and half years we will work in 8 districts across the Northern Region, taking 300 schools in total and training their early year teachers.

We will be working closely with the District Educational Office training their personnel so they can continue to roll out the training past Tzedek’s involvement. The key to the School for Life project working is that we are not creating a different system. We are working with the Ghanaian Education Service at district level to support their structures and their teachers.

This partnership means that the project can create a sustainable change – learning will go on way past Tzedek’s involvement.

Four Key Impacts

  • 40,000 children participating in the project have improved literacy and numeracy levels.
  • 920 teachers are trained and motivated to deliver higher quality teaching
  • Children and parents have an increased satisfaction with what is taught in school
  • Northern region continues to roll-out the approach to their schools after the programme ends

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