Know your region – Upper East Region

                                              Educational Attainment And Literacy
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he high correlation between levels of education and positive health and other social indicators makes education a very important variable in any development planning at the district level. Higher education, especially of women, is usually associated with greater knowledge and use of sound health practices and family planning methods.
Successive governments introduced various policies aimed at reducing illiteracy among the population to the barest minimum. The current programme of Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (fCUBE) is supposed to guarantee free education to all children of school going age.
Although the information on school attendance was collected for everybody aged 3 years or older, official school entry age in the country is 6 years. The analysis therefore focuses mainly on the school attendance of persons aged 6 years and older, while the data for the 3-5 years are presented to show the extent of pre-schooling, which has become official policy, but is not fully enforced. Of the total of 19,469 children aged 3-5 years in the region who are in school, 77.2 per cent are in pre-school and 22.8 per cent are in primary school.
While the start-up for primary school is age 6, a few pupils start at age 5. The proportion of boys (76.5%) and girls (77.9%) who are in pre-school is about the same. For the country as a whole, the proportion of the population that has ever attended school is 60.4 per cent (66.2% of males and 54.8% of females).
The gap in the educational attainment between the country and the region is still very wide. The lack of education in the region is not due only to general poverty and cultural practices but also to the very late introduction of education into the region.
Marital affiliation
Information on marital status is applicable to persons 12 years or older. The eligibility for this question is “based on the average age of menarche and also on the practice in some parts of the country where girls as young as 12 years old could be given in marriage” (Ghana Statistical Service, March 2002). Since 92.3 per cent of the population aged 12-14 are never married, however, the data on marital status are presented only for the population 15 years or older.

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