International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) operating in the cocoa sector, has donated a two-unit school block for the pupils of Akrofoum District Assembly (DA) School in the Assin South District of the Central Region.
The kindergarten block, which costs ICI an amount of GHC80,000,00 comprises two classrooms, a toilet facility and washrooms.
The school project, which has been put up to replace the existing dilapidated wooden structure in Akrofoum community, a cocoa growing community and its adjourning villages, is currently serving a pupil population of fifty (50).
Today gathered that the Akrofoum community could boast of schools from kindergarten (KG) to Junior High School (JHS), when ICI entered the community.
The KG department of the Akrofoum D/A Basic School, which was built with mud by the community, however, collapsed in the middle of 2018 after a rainstorm.
The old KG Building
The community moved the children to an existing dilapidated wooden structure so they would have a place to study as they planned on how to put up a more permanent one.
The dilapidated wooden structure did not ensure a conducive learning environment for the over 50 children who depended on the school for their education.
The plight of the children attracted ICI’s attention during one of their monitoring visits. And as part of ICI’s commitment to the promotion of education in cocoa-growing communities, the organisation put up the two-classroom structure for Akrofoum.
According to ICI, the project was made possible through the collaboration with the district assembly, the chief and the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) of ICI.
Addressing the gathering at a short but impressive commissioning ceremony last week, the National Coordinator of ICI, Mike Arthur, appealed to the leaders of the community to ensure that all school-going age children were in school.
Some dignitaries at the high table
He also advised parents not to send their wards to work on farms while they [children] are to be in school learning.
He, therefore, urged parents to prioritise the education of their wards which he said was the only tool to eradicate poverty.
The national coordinator of ICI was of the view that the school facility will promote education in the community as children who will accompany their parents to the cocoa farms will now be enrolled in school.
Mr Arthur explained that his outfit’s desire to provide educational facilities in cocoa growing areas was part of ICI’s commitment to protecting one million children within cocoa growing communities in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire against child labour by 2020.
For his part, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Assin South District Assembly, Mr. Mr. Derrick Owusu Ambrosess, commended ICI and its partners for constructing the facility in the area.
Like Oliver Twist, he asked ICI to put up more of such facilities in other communities with similar infrastructure problems since government alone cannot shoulder of the development needs of the country.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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