Mr Joep Coenen, General Manager, Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL) Ahafo Mine announced at the launch of the Quality Improvement in Basic School (QUIBS) Project initiated by NADeF in partnership with the Asutifi North and Tano North District Education Directorates and their District Assemblies.
The five-year project which is worth GH₡ 3,562,567.36 cumulatively with an annual budget of GH₡ 712,513.47 is to ensure sustained improvement in the quality of basic school education in the 10 Newmont Ahafo Mine communities by the end of 2020.
Those host communities have committed to dedicate resources, from the human resource development component of the NADeF Fund to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the basic schools in the communities.
The communities are Kenyase Number One, Kenyase Number Two, Ntotroso, Gyedu and Wamahinso in the Asutifi North District, Afrisipakrom, Adrobaa, Susuanso, Yamfo and Terchire in the Tano North District.
Mr Coenen described the QUIBS Project as “a bold and ambitious step in the right direction” and therefore commended the traditional authorities of the communities and the various sustainable development committees for their foresight to invest in the quality of basic education in the area.
He said the project is very significant because “without the right foundation at the basic level, the quality at the higher levels is compromised and defeats the purpose of any intervention at the higher level”.
Mr Coenen therefore commended the community stakeholders, saying for them to have identified that gap to come up with QUIBS Project through NADeF to address it “is heartwarming”.
He stated that investing in human resource development is one of the greatest sustainable legacies that the NGGL Ahafo Mine could leave in their operational communities.
Mr Coenen recounted that “the largest chunk of the one dollar per ounce of gold that we mine and one per cent of our annual profit which has so far accrued about $ 23 million is dedicated to human resource development”.
He expressed optimism that at the end of the project there would be remarkable results to give further meaning to NGGL Ahafo Mine’s purpose of creating value to improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.
Ms Monica Nkrumah, Board of Trustees Chairperson of NADeF explained “the QUIBS Project is in line with the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goal number four which is to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all’ to promote education by 2030”.
Ms Nkrumah said 41 public schools have been targeted by the project for the injection of capital to develop infrastructure and create enabling and conducive environment for teaching and learning to improve academic performance of pupils, particularly during the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
NADeF was established in 2008 as a Foundation to manage NGGL Ahafo Mine’s sustainable community development commitment to its 10 host communities, she recalled.
Ms Nkrumah added that followed a two-year engagement between the company and the Ahafo Social Responsibility Forum, a key stakeholder group of Newmont Ahafo Mine.