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Ghanaian former students ready to give back to schools, research shows

Nearly two-thirds of former students in Ghana would be prepared to support students at their old school, new research and polling has shown.

Wednesday 10 December – On the United Nations’ (UN) International Human Rights Day, international charity Future First Global, which commissioned the research, is calling on schools and alumni to work together to help young Ghanaians realize their rights to education and to work.

Polling by Ipsos MORI of over 1,000 Ghanaian adults nationwide revealed that around 60 per cent of adults were will to give back to their old school, but that just one per cent had already done so.

In new data released in Ghana today to mark United Nations’ Human Rights Day, Future First Global says the potential benefits to schools and students offered by alumni communities are significant, with former students able to help young Ghanaians realize their rights to education and to work.

The research, conducted with the support of The Open Society Foundations, looked at the potential for public schools to build alumni communities in Ghana, one of six countries examined around the world.

“Our research exposed a strong desire among alumni to go back as role models and mentors, careers advisors and work experience providers for students at their old schools,” said Jake Hayman, author of the report and founder of Future First Global.

Of all the countries polled, Ghanaians demonstrated the greatest generosity toward their old school – with over 5m Ghanaians willing to make a donation, mentor or give a career talk.

Hayman said: “We found the incredible generosity and volunteerism indicated by the Ghanaian people a sign that this programme could work even better here than any other country worldwide. With young people in Ghana facing a difficult job market and many entering vulnerable employment, tapping into this significant resource should be a priority for schools.”

One student from Accra said as part of the study: “I want to go out there, become someone great and help the school in the future.”

Commenting on the report and potential represented by alumni role models, a representative of the Ministry of Education said: “Farmers in cocoa growing areas might not see the rationale for education, but we need to show them how to be business leaders”

Additional data from the polling and research findings in Ghana are available in the report: Every school a community: the role of alumni in supporting the transition from school to work.

The full set of polling data is also available to download online here.

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