Sekondi Dec.2 (Smith)-GNA - The British American Tobacco (BAT) Group of Companies, has provided a seed amount of 100 million cedis for the establishment of the Western Regional Education Trust Fund with Mr Wilson Arthur as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Speaking at a news briefing on Thursday, Mr Arthur, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Skyy Group of Companies, said President John Agyekum Kufuor pledged 200 million cedis during the Regional Home-Coming Summit with the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) promising 100 million cedis.
Mr Arthur said the fund would be used to promote education delivery with priority on Primary, Kindergarten and Junior Secondary schools with focus on the primary level.
He noted that in 2001, the Region scored 59 point 5 per cent out of 23,198 candidates presented for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Mr Arthur said, in 2002, out of 25,750 candidates the Region scored 56 point 1 percent with 25,987 candidates getting 58 point 6 percent in 2003, adding that, the number of candidates increased to 26,515 with a score of 60 point 5 percent in 2004.
A total of 52 schools scored zero percent in 2002 with the number dropping to 42 schools in 2003, he said and stated in 2004, fifty schools failed to get any candidate enrolled in a Senior Secondary, Technical or Vocational School.
Mr Arthur stated that seven districts identified by the Ministry of Education as deprived would be assisted to organise district mock examinations for BECE candidates.
The Districts are Juabeso, Bia, Aowin-Suaman, Mpohor Wassa East, Sefwi Wiawso, Amenfi East and Amenfi West, Mr Arthur said and stated that the Board would collaborate with the District Directorates of Education to support In-Service Training Programmes for teachers.
He said that it would also support Teachers awards programmes materially and financially and organise short story writing and quiz competitions for students and pupils in the Districts.
The Board would sponsor radio advocacy programmes in Sefwi, Wassa, Brossa and Nzema languages on FM Stations to create awareness of the Fund and its activities to enable brilliant but needy students to benefit.