Bolgatanga, Feb 15, GNA - Mr Boniface Gambila, the Upper East Regional Minister, has said that even though there was widespread awareness within the local communities about the benefits of formal education in modern times, the increase in awareness is yet to be translated into increased investment and attitudinal change towards the acquisition of knowledge.
The situation, he said, had resulted in an ever-widening gap between the northern and the southern part of the country in terms of education and, for that matter, development.
"Education brings about improvement of the human resource which is key to development," he said.
Mr Gambila made the observation in a speech delivered at the second scholarships award ceremony of the Northern Education Trust Fund (NETFund) in Bolgatanga, during which scholarships were awarded to 101 brilliant but needy students from second-cycle schools in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
He said the government would continue to count on the support of development partners to compliment its efforts in education delivery, despite the fact that the education sector already takes a large chunk of the national budget.
The Regional Minister commended the NETFund initiative, saying it was an indication that the people of the north were ready to take their destiny into their own hands.
"Indeed, it is an event that should awaken those among us who have not yet realised the need to collectively invest in education for the people of the north."
Mr. Gambila pledged a donation of 10 million cedis on behalf of the Regional Co-ordinating Council and district assemblies in the region in support of NETFund.
Mrs Nabilla Williams, the Chairman of NETFund, said in an address read on her behalf that since its establishment in 1998, NETFund had consistently pursued its mission of providing financial support to economically disadvantaged students to enable them to attain the highest educational standards.
Bolga-Naba Martin Abilba III, who chaired the function, said the NETFUND idea was a worthy cause and called for the inclusion of traditional authorities from the three northern regions in the operation of Fund so they could contribute to its success.