Accra, April 30, GNA - The Board of Trustees of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) has allocated 44.4 billion cedis for scholarships for pupils and students in second cycles schools in 40 deprived Districts.
The fund, which is already being disbursed to the districts including the Afram Plains; Birim North; West Gonja; East Gonja and Bole, is aimed at supporting needy children and those with special needs, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports announced in Accra on Friday.
Another nine billion cedis has been allocated by the Government as a capitation grant, for deprived schools to cater for sports fees, development fees, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) fees and other fees as might be necessary to be paid by students.
Speaking at the launching of the 30th Anniversary celebrations of the Donkorkrom Agriculture Secondary School (DASS), based at the Afram Plains in the Eastern Region, Mr Baah-Wiredu said such assistance was aimed at helping to create access to education and improve upon infrastructure needs of both pupils and schools.
The theme for the anniversary celebrations is: "Quality Education in Afram Plains; Challenges and the Way forward" and the main events would be observed in October.
DASS, established on December 7, 1974 with a student population of 90 and a staff of four now has 600 students and 30 staffs.
Mr Baah-Wiredu commended the school authorities and the chiefs and people of the Afram Plains for their support to the school in its 30 years of establishment.
The Minister deplored encroachment on school lands; attack on teachers and the stealing of school materials in some communities, saying such actions destroyed the economy and retarded progress. He said the Government had made it a major policy to provide quality education for all, irrespective of gender, ethnic, religious or economic status.
"This has culminated in the beginning of work, in the first phase of programme to upgrade at least one Senior Secondary School in each districts to the status of a model school".
Mr Daniel Afari, Headmaster of the School, said DASS had chalked a number of success since its inception, including being adjudged the best second cycle school in agriculture during the 19th National Farmers Day Celebrations held in December 2003.
He said despite the rural setting of the school and the difficult conditions under which teachers worked, DASS had trained many students, with a good number of them in "good social standing".
Mr Afari said accommodation for staff and dormitory for girls were some immediate challenges facing the school and appealed to the Ministry for assistance.
The Omanhene of Kwahu Traditional Area, Daasebre Akuamoah Boateng II, who launched the anniversary commended the Government for its decision to upgrade at least one school in each district into a model school and urged parents in the area to be encouraged to send their children to DASS.
He appealed to the Government to provide adequate facilities to the Afram Plains and to post enough trained teachers to the district, at all levels of basic education.
Daasebre Boateng donated two million cedis during a special appeal for funds that yielded 11.4 million cedis.