THE government has released a total of GH¢13,902,160.21 this year for the construction of 88 classroom blocks to phase out schools under trees in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, made this known at the inauguration of a GH¢120,000 six-classroom block with a staff common room and sanitary facilities for the Bamiri Local Authority Basic School, near Techiman.
The project was financed through the District Development Fund (DDF), a grant under the Functional Organisational Assessment Tool (FOAT) and executed by E. NAK-CO Construction Limited, a Techiman-based construction firm.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, said 20 Senior High Schools (SHS) in the region would also benefit from the emergency six-classroom block project at a total cost of GH¢5,324,649.60 to accommodate first year SHS students to ensure the smooth implementation of the three-year SHS programme.
He said the money was for the first phase of the project, which would cover 20 SHS, while another amount, higher than the former, would be released to take on other SHS which were not part of the first phase.
According to him, the government had also spent GH¢20,208,900 this year in providing other educational infrastructure such as dormitories, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres and libraries for SHS in the region.
He said in addition to the already mentioned educational infrastructure, the government had supplied 44,000 free uniforms and 717,864 free exercise books to basic schoolchildren in the region.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo called on parents, especially those in the countryside, to take advantage of the interventions by the government such as the free school uniform and exercise books policy, the provision of modern classroom infrastructure, to enrol all their children of school age in school.
He added that the government had increased the number of beneficiary schools of the school feeding programme, especially those in deprived communities, as a measure of increasing enrolment. The regional minister, therefore, appealed to the people in the area to let the education of their children be their priority, as education is the cornerstone of the country’s human resource development and social uplift.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo explained that the government’s interventions in the education sector were geared to lessen the financial burden on parents.
The Techiman Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Alex Kyeremeh, said since he took office, he had been able to initiate the construction of about 30 classroom blocks for basic schools in the municipality.
He said 17, out of the 30 classroom blocks had been completed and handed over to the schools for use, while the rest where at various stages of completion.
Mr Kyeremeh said the assembly had so far spent GH¢30,000 as financial support for needy students from the municipality in various SHS and tertiary institutions.
He said plans were also underway to start a nurses’ training college at the Techiman Holy Family Hospital next year.
Mr Kyeremeh said the assembly had made education a top priority since it was the bedrock for the development of the municipality.
The Municipal Director of Education, Mr Godfred Axorlu, urged the community and the management of the school to take good care of the facility.
He also urged parents to take advantage of the numerous government interventions to enrol their children in school.
The Chief of Bamiri, Nana Obiri Yaw Kokroko, who chaired the function, thanked the government for the provision of the classroom block.
He appealed for the tarring of the Bamiri-Techiman road, the extension of electricity to newly developed areas of the town and a mechanised borehole.