The Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has presented 214 dual desks to basic schools in the Builsa North Municipality and the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
Out of the total number of desks valued about GHȻ100,000.00, the Chuchuliga Junior High School (JHS), received 45 pieces, the Alan JHS and Primary Schools received 35 and 55 respectively, while the Gbenia JHS received 79 pieces.
At a brief ceremony to present the furniture, Dr Michael Wombeogo, the Executive Director of PARDA, said the furniture was provided under the core programme funds of the Builsa-Kassena Area Child Development Partnership programme between Children Believe (CB) and PARDA within planned activities for the 2023 financial year.
“This will be the third time PARDA is providing furniture to schools in the Builsa North Municipality and the sixth time in the Kassena-Nankana West District within the past three years,” he noted.
He said it was the desire of PARDA and CB to ensure that no child sat on the floor for academic work, especially children from rural communities in Ghana.
“Clearly, PARDA frowns on inequality in standards of education for the very reason that the elite market must be competed for by all Ghanaians regardless of one’s location and point of learning.
“It is in this consideration that PARDA and CB Ghana have offered to break the odds through the provision of quality teaching and learning materials for pupils within the Builsa North Municipality and the Kassena-Nankana West District,” he said.
Dr Wombeogo said for the past two years, PARDA and CB had provided five Early Childhood Development centres, two Child Welfare Centres, nine boreholes and several varieties of teaching and learning materials in the Municipality and District.
He admonished the beneficiary schools to take the pieces of furniture as their own property to last and continue to provide comfort for teaching and learning, “Taking care of these materials will attract further assistance from PARDA and her partners.”
He thanked the CB team for the continuous funding, which enable it to provide comfortable learning environments for children within the Municipality and District, which are their operational areas in the Region.
Mr Samuel Oppong Kwabiah, the Programmes Manager of CB, noted that furniture deficit was one of the numerous challenges in schools across the country and said stakeholders must take up the responsibility to ensure that pupils learnt in conducive environment.
He urged School Management Committees to take proper care of the furniture and suggested that they could identify crafts men in the communities and engage them to maintain the furniture on termly basis to shift their support from provision of furniture to other important needs.
“The problems are many, but if community members are able to maintain the little that we provide, it means we will be able to concentrate on other areas,” Mr Kwabiah said.
Mr Felix Apochaab, the Planning and Statistics Officer at the Builsa North Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Education Service, said some of the schools in the Municipality had children lying on their stomachs in classrooms to write.
He said the gesture from PARDA and CB would improve the furniture deficit in the Municipality and called for more support to improve quality education in the Municipality.