Mining firm, Asanko Gold Ghana has partnered the Ghana Book Trust to address the falling standards of education within the Amansie South and West Districts of the Ashanti Region.

It is a six year partnership with support from the Canadian Organisation for Development through Education (CODE) to imbibe the culture of reading in students within the mine’s catchment area.

Eighteen basic schools in the two districts of the Ashanti region have received library books and assorted teaching and learning materials to enhance the education within them.

So far, 44 schools in the two districts have already benefitted a total of 8,800 books and other teaching and learning materials since the literacy enhancement project begun in 2016.

The project which started in Obotan (one of the mining sites) with ten schools in 2016 has been extended to benefit 44 schools through the provision of library books, training for teachers, mobile library among others.

At a handover ceremony, General Manager of Asanko Gold Ghana, Eben Swanepoel said that the gesture forms a key component of the Asanko Opportunity Cycle and complements other projects in the fields of healthcare, skills training and financial literacy.

“This project is being executed in direct response to low literacy levels among some of our students, which is the result of very many causative factors.”

He added, “the partnership had provided high-quality, culturally reflective and literacy level appropriate reading materials for schools in its operational area.”

“This goal is to have future generations of literate young people who will be critical thinkers, earn good livelihoods and contribute effectively towards development of our communities,” Mr Swanepoel said.

Executive Director of Ghana Book Trust, Genevieve Eba-Polley, said “the six-year partnership will not only improve the reading and writing skills of pupils of basic schools but increase their chances of advancement on the educational ladder.

Madam Ebba-Polley expressed satisfactory remarks on the student’s ability in reading and spelling, saying “the figures are not readily available but on the face of it, there had been a major jump in the results of the students and for the first time in many years, the children had gained admission to some of the best schools in the region.”

She further encouraged the teachers to enhance their teaching skills to achieve the greater good, thus imbibing reading habit among students to achieve English literacy in the districts.

In addition to the Teaching and learning materials, the partners of Asanko Gold also donated assorted COVID-19 protective items to all beneficiary schools of the project.

Each student was presented with two washable face marks while the girls received a number of sanitary pads in addition to the face masks.