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05.03.2009 Education

40% of school children in Wenchi play truant… But NGO joins fight against act, and assists needy but brilliant students

By Micael Boateng, Sunyani - Ghanaian Chronicle

About 40 per cent of school-going children in the Wenchi Municipality of the Region are still out of school, and are engaged in various economic activities instead of going to school.

The Municipal Director of Education for Wenchi, Michael Wiredu-Kusi, made this known during the launch of the “Go to School Foundation”, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) at Wenchi.

The organisation has been sponsoring some needy but brilliant students, to further their education at the second cycle level.

Mr. Wiredu-Kusi noted that the low standard of education in the Wenchi Municipality, has been a source of worry to some major players in the sector over the years, so it is no better a time for “Go To School Foundation,” headed by a marketing manager, Seidu Haruna, to join the fray of stakeholders in finding a lasting solution to the problem.

He blamed the situation partially on some computer game operators in the area, who have greatly influenced the children's absence from school.

According to him, the population of children, in both private and public schools, is a little over 30,000.

The Director mentioned lack of adequate infrastructure and logistics, as the main impediment for the development of education in the municipality, saying “some pupils neither have classrooms, furniture nor books to write in.”

Mr. Wiredu-Kusi also appealed to, especially the Moslem, parents to support the education of their children, more importantly the girl-child.

He advised teachers to accept postings to underdeveloped communities in the Wenchi Municipality.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Go to School Foundation, Seidu Haruna, said the organisation was established last year, with the help of Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu and Zandine Iddrisu Samu, to cater for the needy but brilliant students from the lesser-endowed communities, as well as encourage the young generation to aspire above the BECE level.

“Go to School Foundation is currently sponsoring five Senior High School students to continue their education,” he said.

Mr. Haruna mentioned that as part of the package, beneficiaries would be offered to spend their holidays in Accra, Tema or Sunyani, to engage in vacation classes.

“It is our future plan to support the students at the tertiary level,” he stressed.

The Headmaster of the Aswaq Islamic School at Wenchi, Abas Ali, commended the Go to School Foundation for their efforts at assisting the needy but brilliant students to climb up the educational ladder.

He called on all to support this noble initiative, to help raise the standard of education in the area.

Mr. Abass also entreated other organisations, to help educate Moslem parents to value education.

The Wenchi Municipal Examination Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Tumasi Appiah, charged the five beneficiaries to study hard to justify the investment of the foundation.