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Regional News Wed, 28 Mar 2012

USAID provides classroom block for Bechem Girls Model JHS

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday handed over a three- unit classroom block to the Girls Model Junior High School (JHS) at Bechem in Tano South District of the Brong Ahafo Region.

USAID undertook the project at the cost of GH?91,589.77, which is furnished with wooden desks and comprised an office, store and staff common room.

Plan Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), supervised the construction of the project, which was executed by Modern Times Company.

It formed part of the three-year Transition and Persistence (TAP) “USAID-Plan Ghana Educational Project” in the country.

The $11 million project, instituted by USAID in 2011 is aimed at helping to increase school enrolment by 15 per cent as well as increasing completion rate by 25 per cent in 2013.

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One hundred and fifty-six schools selected from 13 districts in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Greater Accra regions are benefiting from the project.

Dr Ruby Avotri, Monitoring and Evaluation Co-ordinator for TAP, who handed over the classroom block, noted that available statistics indicated school children especially girls in deprived communities failed to complete JHS.

She attributed the high level of school dropouts in those communities to poverty, lack of infrastructure, among other factors.

To help solve these problems, Dr. Avotri said the USAID instituted the project, which had two components with the first part aimed at making the school environment attractive by improving infrastructure.

She said the second component would focus on identifying brilliant but needy students in the project-implementing schools and provide them with incentives such as exercise books, mathematical sets, school bags and uniforms as well as bicycles to those who walk more than five kilometres to attend school.

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The co-ordinator emphasised that under the project, head teachers, teachers, circuit supervisors and school management committees were trained in school management and leadership skills to enable them to manage the schools effectively.

Dr Avotri said the project was able to establish 78 football, Right and Responsibility clubs each for boys and girls in the beneficiary schools.

She said the school buildings would be beneficial to the communities if the students learnt hard and passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination and advised teachers in the schools to work hard.

Mr Zakaria Bukari Anaba, District Chief Executive, thanked USAID and Plan Ghana for the support and observed that since the project was brought to the area, educational infrastructure had improved at Dwomo Methodist JHS, Techimantia Presby JHS and Ankaase community JHS.

He said the assembly would contribute its part by providing school bus for the Girl’s Model school and entreated the school authorities and the Parent Teacher Association to adopt the culture of maintenance to ensure that the facility last long.

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Mrs Josephine Saben Fosu, Headmistress of the school, expressed appreciation to the donors and appealed to the district assembly to help establish a primary division.

She said the school was established in 2000 with 63 students but expressed worry that the population continued to decline as a result of teenage pregnancy.

Mrs Fosu appealed to parents and guardians in the area to show interest in the education of their children by providing them with basic learning and teaching materials.**

Source: GNA