Right To Play in Ghana

Right To Play has been working in Ghana since 2001. We initially partnered with the Ghana Health Service to support vaccination campaigns and health-focused sensitization events. Since that time, we have expanded our programs to address quality education, gender equality, and child protection needs across the country.

Based on a multi-year cooperation with the Government of Canada and a leveraged partnership with the LEGO Foundation, we are now poised to take our education efforts to scale, aligning with the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, and other stakeholders to support the Ministry of Education’s efforts to improve learning in the 10,000 lowest performing schools through its Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP).

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The challenges faced by children in Ghana

The Government of Ghana has made a major investment in education to transform Ghana into a “learning nation.” Free compulsory basic education was introduced in 1995, enabling Ghana to make significant progress on access and gender parity in pre-tertiary levels of education. However, children are not attaining expected learning outcomes due to an overly ambitious curriculum, a shortage of appropriate learning materials, and inadequate teacher training and coaching support.

Children in Ghana also continue to face serious protection issues. The child protection system in Ghana has been decentralized to improve the responsiveness and accessibility of services. But approximately 14% of children aged 5 to 17 are still involved in hazardous forms of child labour. Children are also subjected to various forms of violence and abuse.

  • 57% of children (aged 14 to 17 years) said they were beaten at home while 34% confirmed being beaten in school.
  • Factoring in what they actually learn, children receive the equivalent of only 5.7 years of school by age 18.
  • 64% of primary schools have limited sanitation facilities; 36% have no or unimproved sanitation facilities.


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Strengthening the education system for better learning outcomes

Right To Play’s comprehensive in-service teacher training program has been designed in alignment with the national curriculum to improve the teaching practice of pre-primary and primary school teachers.

In addition to working directly with 495 schools in seven target districts, Right To Play is supporting the Ministry of Education to reach all teachers in the 10,000 GALOP-designated primary schools by assisting in the effective implementation of in-service education and training and school-level professional development plans. Right To Play is also supporting the integration of play-based learning into the teacher training, coaching and mentoring, and assessment materials used by master trainers, district support teams, and teacher champions.

In an effort to instegrate play-based learning in pre-service teacher training, Right To Play is working in partnership with the University of Education, Winneba to create a centre of excellence that will link the university’s departments, teacher training colleges, and selected primary schools. These model schools will serve as practicum sites for student teachers and as research sites for further study of the effectiveness of play-based learning approaches.


"The benefits of play-based approaches to learning to children include increased ownership [over their education]… Because they are involved in an activity, they don’t forget what they’ve learned and are able to transfer knowledge to other topics. The approach promotes teamwork and builds leadership skills… The relationship between teacher and student that develops as a result of the approach is cordial. Everything is done together.” – teacher trainer


Fostering parental and community support for learning

Right To Play uses a variety of strategies to engage parents, community members, and local civil society organizations in addressing the gender-specific learning needs of girls and boys. Through participatory gender analysis and action planning, Right To Play supports community members, school management committees, and parent teacher associations to identify and address the major barriers that prevent girls and boys from succeeding in their studies. Together with local civil society, Right To Play works to enhance the opportunities for children to continue learning outside of school through the establishment of community-based reading clubs.

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Creating safe and healthy schools and communities

Right To Play has also built the capacities of teachers, children, and government officials to strengthen healthy WASH practices in schools. We have established more than 265 school health clubs in six regions to empower children to engage their parents, caregivers, authorities, and community members on hygiene promotion through WASH-themed play days, clean-up campaigns, and house-to-house visits.

Many clubs have constructed tippy taps at their schools, resulting in significant improvements in handwashing behaviour. We use playful approaches to starting conversations about the importance of improved menstrual hygiene management, helping to remove the taboos associated with discussing menstrual hygiene in public.

We have also equipped Community Child Protection Committees and community mobilizers in cocoa-growing communities to ensure that they effectively realize their mandate to identify, document, and refer cases of child labour and abuse. In an effort to encourage working children to return to and stay in school, we have trained teachers on how to create welcoming classroom environments and supported parent teacher associations to undertake school improvement initiatives.

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Right To Play was one of the key technical partners in the development of Ghana’s early childhood education policy and kindergarten curriculum, and subsequently supported the development of the kindergarten in-service training framework. Working with the Ghana Education Service, National Teaching Council, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, and district officials, Right To Play is now assisting in the district-level roll-out of the revised basic education curriculum.

In 2018, Right To Play launched the Gender Responsive Education and Transformation (GREAT) program with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada. Active in three countries, Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda, GREAT uses Right To Play's play-based learning approach to remove barriers to education, especially for girls, and to build teacher capacity to improve learning outcomes.

Our programs in Ghana are also supported by UNICEF, the Lego Foundation, Water Aid, the Isle of Man Government, Mondelez International, and supporters like you.


Contact our Ghana office
No. 24 Sunflower Street, East Legon
Accra, Ghana
P.O. Box OS 1646, Osu - Accra
Phone:​ +233 (0)30 703 8353

More info on our work in Ghana