The Trust Bank Limited (TTB) has extended its school financing credit facility to private basic schools in the Ashanti Region.
This facility has been designed to enable private basic schools to access medium-term finance for infrastructural development to ensure the delivery of quality education.
Under the terms of agreement between The Trust Bank Limited and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), technical assistance would be offered to the beneficiary schools for the success of the programme.
TTB in collaboration with the IFC, first launched the facility in Accra in June 2005.
The facility is being initiated because proprietors of private basic schools have for a long time, been facing difficulties at securing funds to expand their facilities.
At a seminar to educate private school owners in Kumasi about the facility, Mr Isaac Owusu-Hemeng, the Managing Director of TTB, said that since the facility was initiated in Accra, there had been a good response from the target market.
He said applications for credit facilities had been increasing steadily from schools in Accra, stressing that the number of enquiries about the programme had given credence to the belief that there would be more applications in the future.
Unfortunately, state funding of basic education, is restricted to public schools, although in terms of quantity and quality, the enrolment trend had tilted in favour of the private sector schools in recent times, the Managing Director said.
He said the financing needs of private schools, had largely not been noticed by the banks, and that TTB and the IFC, had found it expedient to address the shortfall by focusing on the needs of the private basic schools.
Briefing the people on the facility, Mr Samuel Akyianu of the IFC, said about $25 million had been disbursed under the programme, since its introduction in 2005, adding that, 17 schools had so far benefited from the programme with many others in the queue.
Mr Akyianu explained that private basic schools classified as 'A' or 'B' by the Ministry of Education with a student population of at least 300, which had been in existence for at least three years with the need for infrastructural expansion, qualified to access the facility.
Story by Enoch Darfah Frimpong