More than 8,100 Senior High School and tertiary students within the Newmont Ahafo mine’s catchment area have benefitted from scholarship packages worth GHC 12.3 million.
More so, 673 apprentices selected from the 10 Ahafo mine communities in the Asutifi North and Tano North Districts of the Brong-Ahafo have also been supported to acquire employable skills.
The Newmont Ahafo mine affects various communities including Ntotroso, Gyedu, Wamahinso, Kenyasi number one, Kenyasi number two in the Asutifi North and Afrisipakrom, Techire, Yamfo, Adrobaa and Susuanso in Tano North.
The scholarships were funded through the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF), the Newmont Ahafo Mine’s flagship social responsibility fund established in 2008 for community development.
NADef is funded based on the contribution of US$1 of every ounce of gold produced and 1 percent of net pre-tax profit.
The Ahafo mine’s contribution to the foundation as at June 2017 stands at GHȼ57.1 million.
Mrs Margaret Anane-Agyei, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, said NADeF has also provided several educational infrastructure facilities to improve on education in the area.
She was speaking at a stakeholder’s forum on education organized by NADeF at Ntotroso in the Asutifi North District in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The forum is part of the Quality Improvement In Basic Schools (QUIBS) project being implemented by the NADeF and aimed at improving on quality education in the mine’s affected communities.
It was attended by traditional rulers, assembly members, teachers, circuit supervisors, headmasters and other stakeholders in education.
QUIBS was launched by Matilda Amissah-Arthur, a former first lady in 2015, and it targets improvement in teaching and learning, community participation in education, supervision and monitoring and evaluation from kindergarten to Junior High School level.
It’s a five-year project jointly initiated by NADeF in collaboration with the Asutifi North and Tano North District Directorates of Education and the district assemblies.
Mrs Anane-Agyei said currently 43 public schools were benefiting from the project and entreated the teachers to continue to play their roles so that the project would yield positive outcomes.
Mr Anthony Mensah, the Asutifi District Chief Executive, expressed appreciation to NADeF for its continuous commitment towards improving education in the area.
He said education remains the surest way to prepare children to grow to become useful adults.
Mr Mensah said government was making the needed efforts to improve on education infrastructure and that it requires the support from the private sector as well.
He urged teachers in the district to remain dedicated to service as the assembly would also recognise deserving teachers.
Mr Mensah said the assembly has agreed to provide 2000 desks to be distributed among deprived schools in the district in 2018.
Barimah Twereku Ampem III, the Paramount Chief of Ntotroso Traditional Area, commended teachers for their selfless role in promoting quality education.
He said without the support of teachers, government’s aim of ensuring equal access to quality education would remain a mirage and asked them to remain focus in the course of their duties.
Barimah Ampem III urged the teachers to redouble their efforts to help improve on the abysmal performance of students as the government also does its bit to improve on their working conditions.