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07.10.2005 Regional News

Salvation Army embarks on five-year development plan

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Agona Swedru, Oct 7, GNA - The Salvation Army has embarked on a development plan to put up classroom blocks and to rehabilitate old school structures.

Under the plan, which is being financed by the Swedish School Students Union (SSSU) with 450,000 dollars, facilities at the offices of Regional Managers of the Salvation Army Educational Unit throughout the country would expanded.

Mr Gordon Simpson, General Manager of the Salvation Army Education Unit, announced this at the inauguration of a 100 million-cedi Education office for the Central Region at Agona Swedru.

He extended his appreciation to the SSSU for supporting the Unit to expand facilities to increase access for children of school going age in the area and expressed the hope that gesture would help in improving the quality of education for pupils and motivate teachers. Mr Simpson noted that the free compulsory universal basic education demonstrated the government's commitment to its constitutional obligation to ensure quality education for all children. He said with the government's decision to make education at the basic level affordable through capitation grant, enrolment had increased and appealed for the provision school infrastructure to enhance quality education throughout the country.

Mr Solomon Asoma Baidu, Central Regional Manager of the Salvation Army Educational Unit, gave the assurance that the Unit would create an enabling environment to promote teaching and learning to supplement the efforts of the government.

He attributed the "slackening interest" of religious bodies in education to the misconception that the government had taken over schools including those founded by them and the "sidelining" of their education units by some District Directors of the Ghana Education Service.

Mr Baidu said the Salvation Army had constructed new classroom blocks at Breman Kuntanse, Agona Nyakrom and Apam in the Central Region and the other regions.

The Regional Manager appealed to the Ghana Education Service to increase grants to educational units to meet the running cost of their offices. He asked parents to provide the basic needs of their children to motivate them to study hard to achieve their goals. Mr Baidu charged teachers to be role models of the their pupils, adding that, "We want to build a society deeply rooted in moral discipline". Nana Kwao Ponsi, Adontenhene of Agona Asafo, who presided over the function appealed to teachers not to rest on their oars but to strive to educate the children entrusted to them. He appealed to the Regional Manager, staff and teachers of the Unit to ensure the regular maintenance of the administrative block to extend its lifespan. Nana Ponsi who is an educationist asked the parents to pay regular visit to schools to ascertain the relationship between their children and teachers to improve their academic performance.

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