Accra, Sept. 3, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, at the weekend appealed to fellow northerners especially those in gainful employment, to contribute generously towards the Northern Education Fund (NETFUND), to curb the scourge of illiteracy in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
"I wish to appeal to you to try and make things a bit easier for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at home. You can help by making a commitment of 100,000 cedis a month for the next two years. The Vice President, who was speaking at the fifth anniversary of the NETFUND said: "By calculation, if we can get 1,000 volunteers to sign up, we should be contributing some 2.4 billion cedis to the NETFUND over the 24-month period".
He expressed satisfaction that 150 students had benefited from the fund so far and commended those who committed money to make it possible. Speaking like a preacher, he said: " The good book says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. These are the words, which have caused men to ponder and act generously. Benevolence is a virtue of the highest order. It has brought immeasurable benefits to humanity".
Alhaji Mahama noted that a report by the Ghana Living Standards Survey indicated that the three northern regions were the poorest. He said poverty had been the major barrier for retaining children in school, adding, "Many children of school going age are not in school and several others drop out of school because parents cannot afford to keep them there".
Alhaji Mahama cautioned that the national vision to attain middle income status could not be a reality when parts of the country remained chronically poor and illiterate.
He advised the administrators of the fund to engage the services of professionals to operate it judiciously.
Alhaji Rahimu Gbadamosi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NETFUND, appealed to all northerners resident the country to make a minimum contribution of 10,000 cedis per month for the next two years. He said the fund had adopted a new strategy that would witness a continuously persuasive and aggressive marketing to increase the support base both at home and abroad.
Alhaji Gbadamosi commended the corporate groups and individuals that had contributed towards the NETFUND. The contribution stood at 700, million cedis as against the one billion cedis target.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin II, Okyenhene, called for public support to facilitate the growth of the fund to improve on educational facilities in the north, where overcrowding of pupils was a bane to academic work. 03 Sept. 05