The Country Director for World Vision Ghana has said the NGO is committed to ensuring that all children especially the vulnerable ones among those in their operational areas across the country receive improved quality primary education.

Dickens Thunde made the remarks when he led a delegation to inaugurate 6-unit classroom facility at Dika, a rural community in the Kadjebi District of the Oti region.

Prior to the construction of the 6-unit classroom block, the only school in the community was one built with mud several years ago.

Due to the condition of the school, very few teachers accept postings to the hard-to-reach community.

Kindergarten 1, 2 and Basic 1 had to share a common classroom with either one or two teachers, depending on the availability of teachers.

Classes 2 and 3 were also combined due to unavailability of space and lack of teachers.

According to Mr Thunde, World Vision International operates in 100 countries and support over 400,000 children.

“We receive to bless [the children], so they too become a blessing – and that is the edifice (referring to the classroom block) before us.”

“The building we are inaugurating today is our commitment to children everywhere we work. World Vision operates with a vision statement “for every child, life in all its fullness; our prayer for every heart the will to make it so.”

“All children especially the most vulnerable are so critical for us and we are so committed they should have improved quality of primary education leading to improved learning outcomes.

The 6-unit classroom block is also fitted with recreational facilities.

Expenditure in the Kadjebi District

Dickens Thunde said World Vision International through World Vision Ghana has spent 1.5million US dollars on school infrastructure, training of teachers as well as the provision of teaching, learning and recreational materials in the Kadjebi District.

The amount Mr Thunde said included other projects in various communities that included water and sanitation facilities in the Kadjebi district.

These Mr Thunde said are the achievements of the organisation, which is in its 9th year of operation in the district.

“The impact of these interventions include, but are not limited to improvement in school enrolment, functioning Parent-Teacher Association, functional School Management Committee and relative improvement in learning outcomes.”

Mr Thunde commended the Ghana Education Service for their collaborative efforts over the years.

According to the 2010 population and housing census report, over 7million children – 6 years and older; 4 million in the rural areas and 3 million in the urban areas are not in school.

In Ghana, over 400,000 children are not in school primarily due to the lack of infrastructure.

It is in this regard that World Vision Ghana has stepped in the gap to remedy the situation.

Mr Thunde revealed that beyond the lack of infrastructure, the teaching methods adopted by teachers also lead to absenteeism and poor learning outcomes.

He said a baseline survey conducted in 2013 revealed that only 3 per cent of pupils in its operational district could read with comprehension.

Mr Thunde called for a concerted effort to eradicate child illiteracy in Ghana.

The cost of the 6-unit classroom block was complemented with classroom furniture and learning materials worth $1000.

Other facilities attached to the classroom block include urinal for boys, girls, and changing room for girls that took their menstrual cycles into consideration.

Covid-19 Protocols

Mr Thunde asked parents in the rural community to adhere to all the protocols to ensure they and their children stay safe from Covid-19.  

Child Marriage

Mr Thunde Dickens urged parents to unite and fight the canker of child marriage in their society, describing it as “a menace keeping children away from utilizing facilities like this one”.

He also called on School Management Committees Parent-Teacher Associations, Ghana Education Service, Chiefs and District Assemblies to join forces to fight the menace.

District Director for Education

The district director for education Dr Grace Abla Lorlor Bonuedi was grateful for the gesture from World Vision Ghana and assured the facility would serve its purpose as improving the quality of education in the community and the district at large.

She was also lauded World Vision for improving education in the district over the past nine years through its teacher retraining programmes.

Regional Director For Education

The regional director for education for the Volta and Oti regions, Madam Enyonam Afi Amafugah said for education to reach the farthest, various efforts by government must be complemented by individuals, groups and organisations such as World Vision.

She lauded the organisation for the intervention and asked for such gestures in other rural communities.

She called on teachers in the school have a sense of rededication and commitment to work to improving education in the region while calling on other NGOs to emulate the kind gesture.

DCEs Comments

The district chief executive for the Kadjebi district, Maxwell Asiedu expressed appreciation for the project, as several efforts in the past to renovate the dilapidated building had yielded no results.

He was thankful that World Vision Ghana responded to their calls for help and started construction work on the classroom block in 2019.

He has also charged teachers to be regular and punctual and help improve the quality of education in the district.

Others

The Chief for DIka community Seidu Tanko and his people were equally grateful for school facilities provided.

They are only asking for one more thing – the construction of Teachers’ bungalow in the community so that teachers would stay in the community and serve as role models to their children.