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Regional News Sun, 28 Mar 2004

Wassa Fiase launches education endowment fund

Tarkwa (W/R) March 28, GNA - Osagyefo Kwamena Enimil VI, Omanhene of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area has noted that education is the only hope for the sustenance of peace and development of the area. He said the low level of education and the lack of patronage at the basic and second cycle schools among the people, coupled with the upsurge in illegal gold mining activities by the youth had contributed to the under-development of the Tarkwa Township.

Osagyefo Enimil said these at the launch of the Wassa Fiase Education Fund (WFEF) at Tarkwa on Saturday. He said poor school infrastructure, the lack of teachers, inadequate teaching aids and textbooks were a few of the challenges facing pupils and students in the area.

The Omanhene said the objectives of the fund was not to take over the basic responsibilities of parents in the education of their children but to provide motivation, career guidance and financial assistance whenever possible.

Osagyefo Enimil said though many of the mining companies were supporting the provision of health care, education, water supply and financial assistance, the fund, would go a long way to improve the human resource base of the traditional area. He said though large deposits of natural resources still abound, the lack of the requisite personnel from the area to harness them would continue to make the people poor and take up only menial jobs.

In an address read on her behalf, Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs said it was only through education that the natural resources could be turned into wealth for the benefit of the entire country. She said the huge investments the government was making in the educational sector would not yield the expected results if the youth refused to go to school.

Mrs Asmah assured the people that the establishment of the fund did not mean the government would cease to provide for the educational needs of the traditional area or cut down its share of funding. Mrs Asmah urged parents to take more interest in the care, welfare and education of their children adding, "Though economic conditions of some families are difficult, parents should not use it as an excuse to neglect their children". She appealed to students to take maximum advantage of the fund and improve their educational standards and contribute their quota towards national development. Mrs Asmah advised them to avoid acts that could ruin their education ambition such as indiscipline, drug abuse, alcoholism, hooliganism and other vices.

In another address read for him, the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph B. Aidoo, said chieftaincy disputes did not facilitate nation building but created division, hatred, hostilities, destruction and nepotism. He said disputes had the potential to undermine the efforts of the government and could plunge the entire traditional area and nation into anarchy.

Mr. Aidoo advised chiefs to set aside portions of royalties for their areas towards the fund and ensure that the human resource base of the traditional area was improved. The Fund's 13-member board of trustees is under the chairmanship of Mr. Samuel K. Kofi, an administrator based in Malaysia with Professor Daniel Mireku-Gyimah, Provost of the Western University College, Tarkwa as the vice chairman.

Source: GNA