Global aid charity Tzedek has received a £350,000 grant from Comic Relief to finance an education project in northern Ghana.
The grant was confirmed during a meeting with Comic Relief representatives last Friday and the money will be released periodically over the next three years.
Approved for funding on the back of a pilot scheme launched last March, the QualitE project will support the efforts of educational leaders to improve literacy and numeracy for 45,000 primary age children in over 400 schools.
“The access rate is good but the pass rate isn’t,” explained Tzedek chief executive Jude Williams.
“More than 60 per cent of children go to these primary schools but only eight per cent pass exams. This suggests the quality of education isn’t good enough.”
Tzedek staff have been planning QualitE for more than two years, focusing on “working with the current education system rather than creating something new.
“We’ve been well received by headteachers and district leaders in the area.
“Studies show that it’s easier to read and write in the mother tongue, then switch to learning in English, so we’re going to work on that. We’re also going to focus on supporting the teachers, as a lot don’t have ongoing training and some are not trained at all,” Ms Williams said.
Tzedek is also looking for Jewish community funding towards the £500,000 venture and will consider volunteering offers.
“This is something bigger than just going out there and sending teachers but we’re always looking to use our volunteers in a smart way,” Ms Williams added. “For example, those with a youth movement background could organise informal seminars and day camps to complement the formal education.
“All of this work is about our ability to help the non-Jewish community. Working against extreme poverty is imperative within Judaism.”