Three communities in Upper West Akyem receive free school uniforms and footwear
Africa Centre for Education and Community Development, a non-profit organization, NGO, has donated school uniforms and footwear to over 150 children in three basic schools in the Upper West Akyem district of the Eastern region.
The items were distributed to needy pupils in Kofi Kyere D/A basic school, Asuokwaw Presby school and Katayensua D/A school.
The aim is to encourage school going children who were not regular in school due to tattered uniforms and worn-out footwear to show commitment towards their education.
Records at the district education directorate suggest that some school pupils in the district regularly absent themselves from school due to lack of befitting school uniforms.
Some, however, defy the odds and the embarrassment of donning tattered uniforms just to be educated, shying away from extra curricula activities.
This, according to some teachers and circuit supervisors in the district, demoralizes the pupils and affect their academic performances.
Government in 2009 introduced free school uniform policy as a social intervention programme in education, with the aim to reduce the cost of education and support needy pupils in deprived public basic schools across the country.
The programme, has however, taken a nosedive in recent past, affecting enrollment levels in most basic schools across the country.
Some parents in the predominantly farming communities say they are unable to afford uniforms for their children due to hardship.
To address this challenge, Africa Centre for Education and Community Development , following its need impact assessment program conducted in the district saw the need to present to pupils who lacked these items.
Addressing a ceremony to present the items, country director of
Africa Centre for Education and Community Development, Kofi Baafi, Esq. said “the main focus of the organization is to advise on education, help people build their skills and make education environment very convenient”.
According him the findings from its impact assessment revealed low education performance due to lack of financial support on the part of parents.
” It’s not as a result of lack of teachers, they are a lot of teachers here, they have infrastructure though it’s not that convenient but we have seen that the parents have a role to play so the parent-teacher relationship is not moving properly and most of the children too are not properly informed about what they have to do and they just come to school and go home. Some are not clothed so they don’t come to school at all. We found out that poverty is very very high, performance is very low so comparing these two things we realized that one is influencing the other. When we work on these two things it will impact positively on education.” He stated
A Circuit Supervisor in the district, Edward Boakye told Journalists the district faces a lot of challenges including lack of text books, infrastructure deficits among many others.
According to him the lack of these uniforms and other needs discourages students from attending school regularly.
” We are very hopeful that once the ACECD has come to our aid in Katayensua, Kofi Kyere and Asuokwaw Presby with school uniforms and footwear, we are hopeful they would extend their tentacles to other schools in the district.We are faced with absenteeism so with this kind gesture, we are convinced enrollment levels will rise all aimed at a better education” . He explained.
Beneficiary students commended the group for their support.
The event was well attended by traditional rulers , opinion leaders and heads of schools in the three communities.