Table Tennis: The Safenet for School Dropouts and the Catalyst for Further Education

EduDrive, the Dream Building Fund initiative in Ghana has proven that table tennis is a strong motivator to keep children in school. By taking part in the table tennis training, EduDrive project participants have reported a boost in confidence, as well as better social interactions, on top of improving academic performance.



Finding a solution calls for an understanding of a deeply rooted problem. As the world celebrates the International Day of Education, the ITTF Foundation shines the spotlight on EduDrive, one of our Dream Building Fund initiative, sharing its approach by combining education and table tennis to encourage school attendance among slum children, realising the fundamental right to education and build more sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful futures.


A practical solution that meets the need

With its long-term goal to promote education for all and bridge digital inequalities in education, Asoba & NK Foundation, the grassroots NGO in Ghana behind EduDrive sees a more pressing issue. The dropout rate in slum communities such as Ofankor and Kweikuma is sky-high, as most families cannot afford to send their children to school.

One of our goals is to increase school attendance rate in those communities by 75% or higher. While big visions keep us on track, we wanted to tackle the fundamental issue, the biggest roadblock that lies between where we are now, and a world where everyone has access to education to finally end the chain of poverty, especially for children in the slum areas.” - Ishmael Abraham Armah, EduDrive project leader.

EduDrive supports 200 school dropouts with free national health insurance, educational materials, lunch during weekdays and female hygiene products for those in need.

We are excited to see the positive impact EduDrive is making in bringing and keeping children in school. Our recent survey* targeted at the project participants reveals that only 85 out of 151 respondents were going to school regularly (75-90% of the time) before joining EduDrive, and the number has increased to 142 after taking part in EduDrive programmes. - Saurabh Mishra, ITTF Foundation Programmes Manager.

The project also offers after-school academic classes in English, math, and science to assist those students that have fallen behind. 82 of the survey participants reported improved performance in all three subjects, while 65 saw better grades in math, followed by English (56) and science (14).


The sport that drives education

EduDrives uses table tennis to motivate school children and encourage enrolment.  

Table tennis plays an essential role in EduDrive. It is a tool to inspire and build confidence among children in the slum communities. The aim is to create the driven force that eventually comes from within those children, that would help them overcome any hardship that might come their way in the future. They have to believe in themselves to make a change. -  Godfred Armah, EduDrive table tennis coach.

The effort of EduDrive is paying off. All 151 of our survey participants agreed that participating in EduDrive has boosted their confidence, while 109 of them gladly reported that EduDrive has helped them make more friends through table tennis.

Not only have we received positive feedback from the project participants, but EduDrive is also highly recognised by the families of the participants, local communities, as well as school teachers within the municipal.

We are still at the early stage of our project and have already seen some inspiring results. 112 of the survey participants believe participating in EduDrive can help them get a job in the future. The optimism is exactly what we had hoped to see in the children from slum communities for a long time. - Ishmael Abraham Armah, EduDrive project leader.


*Total number of surveys issued: 200, total number of valid responds: 151.



Find out more about EduDrive and our filed report from Ghana.

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