The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) at the weekend commissioned a six-unit classroom block for the Saint Francis Anglican Primary School at Bontrase in the Awutu Senya District in the Central Region.
The facility, provided under the Millennium Challenge Accounts Ghana Compact programme, also comprised latrine/urinal, tanks for harvesting water to support personal hygiene, an office and a storeroom for the headteacher, a library and a staff common room.
All the rooms are furnished with teachers’ tables and chairs, cupboards and dual desk for pupils.
Mr Lindsay Graham, South Carolina’s Senator, at the head of a seven-member US Senate delegation to Ghana commissioned the project and said they were proud of what the US tax payers money was being used for in Ghana.
He said every child deserved an education, expressing the hope that a child who benefitted from the facility could one day become a doctor, engineer or even the president of Ghana.
Mr Graham lauded relations between Ghana and the US, saying “we value the partnership between the people of the US and Ghana and we hope this union would make us better friends and deepen relations between our countries”.
The delegation that was on a week’s African tour of Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania, assessed the impact of US assisted projects in Ghana, especially the Mallam Junction project under the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC), which comes to a close next month February.
The Saint Francis Anglican School was established in 1993 as a community school at a temporary shed until PLAN Ghana, a Non Governmental Organization built a three-unit classroom block to house the Kindergarten in 1997.
Before MiDA’s intervention, only the two kindergarten classes and primary class one were housed in the permanent accommodation built by PLAN Ghana. The rest, primary two to six held classes under trees and on the veranda of the kindergarten block.
The new facility that would provide accommodation for about 210 pupils including 141 grils children is expected to increase literacy and numeracy levels and contribute to human resource development in the area.
Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of the MiDA, noting challenges facing public education in Ghana, applauded the project, saying it was an important milestone at improving the lot of children in rural areas in the country.
He said there was the need to provide better school structures for the education of the children of the many farmers, which the MiDA had trained in that community under the Rural Services Development Project under the MCA Ghana Compact Programme,
One of the key projects under the programme is the provision of community services in support of its agricultural transformation programme, which involves investment into the rehabilitation of old school infrastructure and the construction of kindergarten and primary schools and provision of potable water, sanitary facilities and electricity to power industries in selected farming communities.
Mr Eson-Benjamin urged the the community to maintain the facility to justify the American tax payers’ generosity and called on the US to continue to collaborate with and support efforts aimed at improving the lot of the Ghanaian child.
Popular US pop artist, Bono of U2 fame accompanied the senators to commission the project.
The US MCA that granted Ghana a five-year account approximately $547 million, aims at reducing poverty by raising farmer incomes through private sector-led, agribusiness development with focus on increasing the production and productivity of high-value cash and food staple crops in certain areas of Ghana, and on enhancing the competitiveness of Ghana‚ export base in horticultural and other traditional crops. GNA