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Regional News of Thursday, 16 June 2011

Source: GNA

RAAP launches rural education fund for needy students

Ullo, (U/W), June 16, GNA - Rural Aid Action Programme (RAAP), a no= n- governmental organisation (NGO) based in Hain has launched its first ever rural education fund to support brilliant but needy students in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region.

The fund which has an initial capital of GH¢30,000.00 was launched o= n Wednesday by the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Cezar Kale. Mr Kale a cheque for GH¢1,711.90 to the Headmaster of Ullo Senior Hi= gh School (SHS), Mr Albert Bosoro to cater for the fees of the first eleven beneficiaries of the fund. He applauded RAAP for creating the fund among many other interventions and appealed to individuals and institutions to contribute to the fund to enable it benefit many students. He asked managers of the fund to ensure that beneficiaries were transparently selected and that they were actually needy students. Mr Kale said government would continue to partner the private sector t= o alleviate the plight of the rural poor.

He added that government would also ensure that each district had a SHS, saying it would not only bring quality education to the doorsteps of the people but also lessen the cost incurred by parents in transporting their wards to and from very far schools. He mentioned the increase in the capitation grant and the quest to ste= p up the number of beneficiaries of the Ghana School Feeding Programme from 700,000 to one million. Mr Kale said these interventions would lessen the cost of formal education in the country. Mr Evans Sinkare RAAP Executive Director said the setting up of the fund came as a result of the increasing annual request to the Programme fro= m parents and students for payment of school fees.

He pointed out that RAAP had since 1998 supported 35 students from second cycle and tertiary institutions to pay their fees to complete their courses. Mr Sinkare said the objective of the fund would among other things reduce the level of school dropout in the district and promote the consciousness of parents to save money towards financing their wards education. He mentioned the Rural Women Livestock Production Project, the Village Savings and Loans Project, the Animal Traction Project, the Adolescent Health Reproduction Project as well as the Gender Advocacy Project as som= e of the activities undertaken by RAAP. Mr Sinkare expressed gratitude to his partners namely, Beyond the Pivot, Hong Kong, Tree Aid UK, Oxfam GB, Plan Ghana, Care International, Ghana AIDS Commission as well international volunteers for the success of the Programme.

He appealed to government to increase the participation of local NGOs in government interventions such as the European Union Micro Projects, Smal= l Loan and Microfinance Scheme, Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, Northern Rural Development Programme and other strategic development interventions that were yet to be developed. Mr Bernard Puozuing, Jirapa District Chief Executive, in a speech read on his behalf pledged the District Assembly's commitment to support the f= und to grow, stressing that it was the only education that could bring meaningful education to the area.