Dr Christopher Boatbil, the Talensi District Chief Executive (DCE), has given the assurance that all basic schools in the district would receive the required number of furniture to improve academic work.

He said the huge furniture deficit was a problem in many schools in the district, compelling children to learn on bare floor, but that would be a thing of the past before the end of 2020, as the Assembly was investing strategically to improve basic education in the area.

“Apart from difficulty in acquiring the required textbooks and other teaching and learning materials, one of the major challenges confronting basic schools, not only in Talensi but the whole of Upper East Region, is inadequate learning materials and to some extent lack of furniture for the pupils to sit”.

The situation has compelled many children to sit on the bare floor to learn and lie on their stomachs to write, which was leading to decrease in enrolment and poor academic performance, he added.

Speaking to journalists at the ‘Meet the Press series’ in Tongo, the DCE said the Assembly had constructed and distributed a number of desks to basic schools in the district and promised to add more.

He disclosed that 750 metal dual desks had been given to schools while 400 out of a potential 800 dual desks were ready for distribution to more schools in the district.

Additionally, the Assembly through the District Development Facility (DDF) was procuring 1,600 dual desks for the schools.

“Before the end of 2020, I am assuring you that no child in Talensi would sit on the floor to learn, it would be a thing of the past,” he added.

The DCE further disclosed that apart from a number of new classroom blocks being constructed in some schools in the area, all the schools which had their roofs ripped off were all renovated and were in use.

In order to prevent future destruction of school buildings, particularly by wind and rain storms, the Assembly in collaboration with the Forestry Commission had supplied schools with 3,000 tree seedlings to be planted around the buildings, which would grow to serve as wind breaks.

Touching on agriculture, the DCE explained that more than 1,400 farmers in district had benefitted from the Planting for Food and Jobs in 2019 while the construction of 1,000 metric tonnes capacity warehouse at Pusu-Namongo was almost completed, to provide good storage facility for farmers.

Though the Assembly was not selected to benefit from the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), it had lobbied and secured 5,500 seedlings of cashew and distributed to 125 farmers for growing, he said.

To boost the local economy and increase the Internally Generated Revenue, Dr Boatbil disclosed that a number of stores had been constructed at Tongo market while the one million dollars per constituency was being invested in the provision of water closet toilet facilities to institutions.

Through collaboration with World Vision, two shea factories had been established with one already in operation with about 100 women actively engaged in processing shea butter while the other one would soon be connected with electricity for operations to begin, he said.

On sanitation, the DCE said, through the effective collaboration between the Assembly and Catholic Relief Service (CRS), a number of sanitation interventions had been implemented to help 75 communities in the district become Open Defecation Free.

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