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Opportunity International Supports Education With ¢20.69m

Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor
19 January 2016 | Education

Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited, (OISL) has recorded an impressive financial support to Education in Ghana.

The company has given to the education sector a tune of GHS20.69 million in the past eight years.

OISL believes strongly that providing education is of paramount importance because lack of education is directly linked to poverty.

According to Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng, CEO of OISL, “Given the level of literacy in the country, Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited finds it necessary to fund the education sector in its bid to reduce poverty and improve access to employment. Literacy rate in Ghana is 71.5% which implies 28.5% of the population aged 15 and over cannot read and write”.

Mr. Owusu-Boateng further stated that “Opportunity International is helping alleviate the barriers to education through funding and capacity building to the schools, students and teachers”.

On his side, Nathan Byrd, the Global Head of Education Finance of Opportunity International, said as the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions continue to struggle with funding for expanding and improving education, the private sector offers a clear, effective sustainable solution.

“The Opportunity International’s Model. This model is enabling locally owned private schools to help low-wage earners educate their families and transform their lives through affordable education.

He said it's to stimulate the economy in a direct and effective way and acting as a critical catalyst to improving literacy rates whilst breaking the cycle of poverty.

Data received from the Savings and Loans Company makes it clear that they have disbursed a total amount of GHS20.69 million to the education sector in various ways.

GHS16.06 million was disbursed directly to improve private schools, GHS2.41 million to pay primary and secondary school fees and GHS2.22 million to pay tertiary school fees.

A total of 441 schools, 2,302 pupils from the primary and secondary schools and 945 students from tertiary institutions have benefitted from Opportunity International’s education loans.

The company currently has an outstanding loan portfolio of GHS 6,592,436 with 1,273 clients.

This is made up of GHS 5,574,039 loans with 234 private school proprietors, GHS 341,688 with 478 pupils and students of primary and secondary schools and GHS 676,710 with 561 tertiary students.

OISL has a school improvement loan that seeks to provide credit for infrastructure development, provision of school amenities like computers and textbooks and for the intellectual development of teachers.

The school fees loan also seeks to provide loan for primary and secondary school fee payment and the purchase of books whereas the GOAL (Greater Opportunity Access for Learning) student’s Loan provides money for tertiary school fees payment, purchase of textbooks, and support to cater for other living expenses on campus for tertiary students.

The company also sought to provide special training to school proprietors and teachers to upgrade their skills in various ways.

Since its inception, 1,145 school staff had received training in 15 different training programmes.

It believes a well trained teacher would positively impact pupils and students.

This is done through the support of other partners who have the capacity to provide the training with support for Opportunity International.

Altogether, a total of 246,444 children have been impacted from Opportunity International’s education lending programme.

Through these interventions, a number of schools have seen great improvements in their performance.

These schools are better equipped to provide sound education to pupils and students thereby improving their chances of pursuing higher education and gaining employment thus helping to eradicate poverty.

On the peripheral, these schools have generated multiplier effect in providing employment for teachers, cooks, drivers, tailors and dress makers, books and stationary workers and persons in the construction sector.

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