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01.10.2004 Education

GMWU launches one billion cedi education endowment fund

By GNA

Obuasi, Sept 30, GNA - The Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment has developed a proposal that will lead to the formulation of a manpower policy for the country.

The proposal will provide a framework for conducting a national manpower survey leading to the formulation of the policy. Mr Yaw Barimah, the sector Minister, said this at Obuasi on Thursday during the launch of a one billion-cedi education endowment fund instituted by the national leadership of the Ghana Mineworkers' Union (GMWU).

The Union presented a cheque for 200 million cedis as seed money to kick-start the fund.

Mr Barimah said the policy would aim, among other things, at the harmonisation of supply and demand forces in human resource management with the growth and development projections of the economy in mind. The minister noted with concern the importance of education to national development and commended GMWU for initiating such fund to support the education of mineworkers' children and wards.

"In view of the escalating cost of education in the country, it is evident that the government alone cannot bear the cost. It is in this light that I wish to congratulate the Ghana Mineworkers' Union for launching the Education Endowment Fund," he said.

Mr Barimah said the government had created innovative programmes to help children get the education they deserved as part of its efforts to improve basic education for all children in the country.

In a speech read for him, the General Secretary of GMWU, Mr. Robert Cole, said the endowment fund was one among several initiatives the Union intended to embark on in the course "of this quadrennial and beyond as a response to some of the new challenges facing the 21st century."

He said the immediate objective of the fund was to assist in the education of brilliant children of members in second cycle institutions. He pledged the Union's support for the fund annually with an amount of 100 million cedis to ensure its sustainability.

The General Secretary appealed to their major social partners to contribute generously into the fund as a gesture of their commitment to "this laudable initiative."

Mr. Cole announced that 50 students would benefit from the fund this new academic year with each receiving 1.5 million cedis. The General Secretary indicated that the fund would also assist brilliant but needy children in the mining communities who would meet the criteria to further their education in the second cycle institutions based on recommendations by the District Assemblies.

Mrs. Evelyn Quist Addo, Director of Administration and Human Resource Management of the Ghana Chamber of Mines who launched the fund, applauded the Union for the initiative stressing.

"We think this is a proactive, progressive and a Union with foresight."

"I take this opportunity also to appeal to the member companies to contribute immensely and regularly in order to sustain the fund. ''The Chamber will set the motion by donating 10 million cedis because it has the conviction that it is a worthy cause," she said. Mr Nigel Trevarthen, the Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti, said the company had been investing millions of dollars in education because of its importance and gave the assurance that the company would support the fund.

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