The Marshallan Relief and Development Services (MAREDES) of the Catholic Church, has launched its 2014 Support for Girls Mathematics Education project aimed at distributing 3,000 mathematical sets to Junior High School (JHS) girls all over the country by November 5.
MAREDES is an NGO of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall, a Catholic Friendly Society devoted to charitable works.
Last Year, MAREDES rolled out the phase one of the project and provided 2,000 mathematical sets to some female students in poor and deprived districts in all 10 regions as a way of providing motivational and practical support to girls in those communities to develop their interest in the subject of mathematics.
During the launch of the second phase of the support for girls mathematics education project in Accra, on Wednesday, Ecobank, the Pan African Bank, presented a cheque for GHC20,000 to MAREDES to support the purchase and distribution of the mathematical sets to the students.
Ecobank also donated GHC7,000 to MAREDES last year to support the project.
Mr Eddie Prah, Chairman of the Board of MAREDES, explained that the initiative was meant to encourage girls, both psychologically and practically, to pursue mathematics education.
“We believe that mathematics education opens a wide range of opportunities to girls to reach enviable heights in social, academic and professional disciplines. Mathematics is a great tool for mental alertness, analysis and scientific discovery”, Mr Prah said.
He noted that the partnership with Ecobank demonstrates a more effective form of corporate social responsibility, in addressing the real social problems of today.
He said prior to the introduction of the project, a survey was done in selected deprived schools in some communities and it came out that most students, especially girls, who were supposed to use mathematical sets in their studies had not even seen one before, neither had any of them used such a set before.
Mr Prah said evaluation of the project after its first year of implementation has revealed general recommendation from highly placed individuals, including President John Mahama and so other institutions should partner MAREDES to expand the programme to reach out to over one million female JHS students.
“This will ensure that more girls are encouraged and supported with other measures to sustain their interest in education, especially in science”.
He said his organisation was also instituting measures to monitor the performances of beneficiary female students and see how they performed at the JHS level so that the brilliant ones could be supported through Senior High School and beyond.
Mrs Elizabeth Anderson-Yebuah, Vice-Chairman of the MAREDES Board, said the programme would be sustained and therefore other organization should come on board to help in educating and promoting girls’ education.
Mr Ernest Hayford, Head, Financial and Regulatory Reporting at Ecobank, who presented the cheque on behalf of his Bank, said Mathematics in girl child education was one of the areas that had not been given much attention in recent and past times in the deprived and rural areas.
Mr Hayford said “most girls in these areas lack materials to help them in their mathematics education. These girls if assisted with the necessary materials would excel without any doubt.
He said that was why Ecobank decided to partner MAREDES to supply basic materials such as the mathematical sets to help the girls.”
Mr Hayford said with the distribution of the Mathematical sets, it is believed that a year from now, grades in mathematics at the basic level would be more impressive than what was recorded last year.
Among schools to be assisted include Our Lady of Fatima JHS at Kpong, and Accra New Town Experimental 1and 2 JHS in Greater Accra region, Achiaa Tawiah MA JHS in the Ashanti Region, Axim RC JHS, Anglican JHS in the Western region. GNA