The government of Japan on Thursday granted 102,844 US dollars (715 million cedis) to three organisations for the construction of school blocks under the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP).
The beneficiaries are the Senchi Development Association in the Eastern Region, Chiraa Community Methodist School in the Brong Ahafo Region and the Nujumu Islamiya Arabic and English Primary School in the Northern Region.
The Senchi Development Association received 146 million cedis for the construction of a three-unit classroom block with office, store and library for the Senchi Junior Secondary School whilst the Chiraa Community received 330 million cedis for the construction of a permanent accommodation for the Methodist Primary School.
Nujumu Islamiya Arabic and English Primary School had 239 million cedis for the construction of a six-classroom block.
Mr Nitta Hiromo, Japanese Ambassador, who signed the grant contracts at separate ceremonies in Accra, said the GGP is to encourage rural communities to undertake self-help activities to develop their areas.
Under the GGP the government of Japan has provided 900,000 US dollars for 20 projects for the 2001 fiscal year. Eleven out of the 20 projects have already been approved.
Mr Hiromo said the government and people of Japan believe that education is very important to the socio-economic development of a nation and appreciate the efforts by the people to educate their children without leaving everything in the hands of government.
"The level of education is low especially in the Northern Region and the government of Japan is happy to provide financial assistance to raise the standard of education and encourage school attendance in the communities," he said.
Mr James Addo-Bamforo, Secretary of the Senchi Development Association, assured the Ambassador that the money would be put to good use so that within 10 months the school would be ready for commissioning as stipulated in the contract agreement.
The Very Rev. Doris Antwi, Financial Secretary of the Chiraa Community Methodist Primary School, said a rainstorm destroyed the school building a long time ago and the grant would enhance its speedy rehabilitation.
Mr Fuseine Haruna Andan, Board Member of Nujuma Islamiya Arabic and English School, said since the school was established in 1974, the Ghana Education Service has provided only a pavilion without furniture.
He said the grant marks the beginning of "real life" to the children of Kanvilli Tunayili, Kanvili and Gbayami communities, about five kilometres from Tamale, to have access to basic education.