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13.07.2005 Regional News

Rural Bank gives scholarships to girls

GNA

Garu (UE) July 13, GNA - Seventy-two brilliant but needy girls in some selected schools in the Bawku Municipality and Garu-Tempane District in the Upper East Region were presented with scholarships worth over 200 million cedis for the 2005/2006 academic year at a ceremony at Garu.

The scheme, which was instituted last year by the Bessfa Rural Rank, in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), also granted scholarships to 47 girls within the same year, all intended to boost girl child education in the area. Beneficiaries at the primary level received 220,000 cedis each whilst those at the JSS had 280,000 cedis each. The amount was to defray PTA and Special levies as well as buying books, uniforms, school bags, sandals and other items needed for a congenial teaching/learning atmosphere.

Making the presentation, the General Manager of Bessfa Rural Bank, Mr Solomon Awuni, said the improvement of the human resource, particularly that of the girl child, should be of paramount interest to all well-meaning citizens. According to him, if the less fortunate girls were assisted to complete schooling, most of the problems confronting society would have been solved to build a better nation.

Mr Awuni explained that the bank initiated the scheme on the realisation that improvement of livelihood in society could achieve depended on quality education for women to assume leadership roles. He said the scheme has come to stay as pat of the bank's social responsibility in order to reduce poverty and its attendant problems, adding that giving hope to the youth was the best way to tackle these problems.

The General Manager advised parents not to misuse the funds but should ensure that it was used for the intended purpose for their wards to become responsible adults to cater for them in future. The UNICEF Country Representative, Mr. Gideon Biikook Konlan, said the marginalisation of girls to attain good education in the area has contributed to the continuous vicious poverty level among the people, which, he said, calls for attention to be given to girl-child education to turn the tide towards development. He appealed to parents to assist benevolent organisations helping in this direction, adding that they should refrain from forcing the young girls into early marriage, which disrupt their academic aspirations.

Mr. Konlan warned that beneficiaries found to have abandoned schooling would be prosecuted and made to refund the scholarships and urged the GES and the Assemblies to ensure that the girls complete their schooling. He also advised the pupils to take the opportunity to study hard and refrain from vices that might end their academic pursuits to be useful citizens to justify the investments being made by their benefactors.

Mr. Daniel Yidanaba, on behalf of the beneficiaries parents, thanked the bank and UNICEF for offering their wards the opportunity to improve their lives through education and promised that they would ensure that the well-intended purpose of the scholarships was achieved.

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