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18.01.2010 Education

Berekum Assembly Education Endowment Fund launched

By Clement Boateng - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Increasing requests by brilliant, but needy students, as well as its desire to promote education, has informed the members of the Berekum Municipal Assembly to establish an education endowment fund to cater for the pressing educational needs in the municipality.

The assembly members have therefore resolved to use the assembly's common fund allocation to education, as seed money for the Education Endowment Fund.

Launching the fund in Berekum, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, commended the assembly for making such a good decision, hoping that the motive behind the establishment of the endowment fund comes to fruition,

He noted that the municipality was endowed with a lot of talents that must be harnessed to effect development, and called on institutions, groups and individuals, to contribute to such a worthy cause.

Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo urged the assembly to focus its attention on promoting science and technology, as well as vocational education, which have been identified as very critical necessities in achieving accelerated development.

He said the government was committed to education, assuring the people that it would implement comprehensive education policies, and also improve upon other laudable programmes initiated by the previous administration, to develop and strengthen the human resource base of the country.

A former Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Kwabena Kyere, who chaired the function, observed that countries that had no natural resources like minerals, had developed by harnessing the potentials of their human resource, resulting in advancement in technology, which is an essential catalyst in the development process.

He cautioned against discrimination in the disbursement of the fund on partisan considerations, since that would defeat the purpose of its establishment.

The educationist however entreated the assembly to use, what he described as “positive discrimination,” to promote girl child education, by giving brilliant but needy girls an advantage over their male counterparts in the municipality.

Tracing the history of establishment of education endowment funds in the country, the Berekum Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Stephen Lord Oppong, disclosed that one of the chiefs of Berekum, Nana Boakye, was the first to take such initiative in 1945, which saw beneficiaries like the Chairman of Electoral Commission of Ghana, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Djan, and Prof. Benneh.

The MCE, whose 35th birthday coincided with the occasion, noted: “it does not matter how long one lives on earth, but the legacy that the person leaves behind, and the positive impact it will have on society, is what matters.”

He said it behoves the present leadership of the assembly, to make decisions that would make life easier and meaningful to posterity, rather than championing their personal interests.

Mr. Oppong commended the assembly members for their cooperation so far, and prayed that the unity that existed would continue, to enable the assembly achieve the common goal of ensuring holistic development, through the equitable distribution of resources, devoid of partisan considerations.

He observed that to be able to perform well academically depended on the willingness to study, the school factor, as well as the ability of parents to shoulder financial responsibilities, and on time.

He said the education endowment fund would be used to support activities that have direct and indirect influences on education, such as scholarships, sports development, and income-generating activities.

The MCE urged citizens of Berekum Municipality at home and abroad, as well as development partners, including non-governmental organisations and individuals, to visit the fund's website at www.berekumeducationendowmentfund.org.gh, or contact the assembly for further information.

On his part, the Berekum Municipal Director of Education, Mr. P. K. Jimpetey-Djan, gave the statistics of the number of schools, students and the academic performances in the municipality, as he commended the MCE and the assembly for establishing the endowment fund to support education.

He disclosed that the municipality had cadet corps in 30 schools, and appealed to the Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo to assist the directorate acquire uniforms for them before this year's 6th March celebration, noting that the establishment of the cadet corps would promote discipline among the students.

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