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15.04.2004 Regional News

UNICEF donates bicycles to schoolgirls in Bawku East

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Bawku, April 15, GNA - The Bawku East Municipal Directorate of Education on Tuesday presented 152 bicycles valued at 77.8 million cedis to girls in some selected basic schools in the Municipality to boost girl-child education.

The bicycles were donated by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to encourage the enrolment of girls in schools, as well as prevent lateness and truancy by school children in the area. The Municipal Director of Education, Mr Paul Asikisimi said an earlier donation had helped to increase girl-child enrolment in 50 schools.

He announced that in the 2003/2004 academic year, girl population in the schools stood at 4,305 as against 3,430 in the 2002/2003 academic year.

Mr Asikisimi said the assistance to the schoolgirls had also boosted their performance thereby raising the standard of education in the area.

He advised parents against withdrawing their daughters from school and forcing them into marriage.

The UNICEF Education Programme Officer, Mr. Biikook Kollan, urged schoolgirls to abstain from sexual promiscuity and to learn hard to enable them pass their examinations.

He said UNICEF had earmarked one billion cedis for the improvement of school infrastructure, supply of furniture and capacity building to improve the quality of education in the area.

Mr. Abdul-Rahman Gumah, Bawku East Municipal Chief Executive, thanked UNICEF for its contribution to education in the area, and urged the beneficiaries of the assistance to take good care of the bicycles. Miss Florence Kobi, Regional Officer in charge of girl-child education, stated that the donation was not aimed at discriminating against boys but to help bridge the gap between them and girls in academic performance. 15 April 04

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