MTN Ghana Foundation has approved funding for construction of a six-unit classroom block for Nhyiaeso District Assembly Basic School in the Ashanti Region.
The foundation has also offered to provide furniture as well as teaching and learning materials for the school located in the Asante Akyem North District.
It follows a Joynews Agenda report in July which highlighted the poor and life-threatening conditions of the school’s existing structures.
Ohemeng Tawiah’s report prompted MTN’s intervention in one of the deprived schools in the Asante Akim North District.
He returned to the community to gauge the mood of the people following the announcement.
The absence of Junior High School at Nhyiaeso compels children to trek 32 kilometres or 20 miles daily to and from school at the nearest town, Ananekrom.
The attendant risks on such a quiet stretch have, sometimes, been devastating. At least, two girls have been sexually assaulted in the last two years.
Nhyiaeso D/A Basic School has over 300 pupils, most of them from nearby settler farming communities like Jerusalem, Depot, Pewodie and Mamprusi.
One of the most deprived in the Asante Akim North District, the school, with only three decent classrooms, is home to noisy African fruit bats.
Officials of MTN Ghana Foundation say they are touched by the ordeal children and teachers go through in such dilapidated structures.
Senior Manager, Sustainability and Social Impact at MTN Ghana, Georgina Asare Fiagbenu broke the news.
“We have very good news for the people of Nhyiaeso near Agogo.MTN Ghana having heard the news about the deplorable state in which the basic school is decided to make a presentation to the board for us to get some funding to put up a 6-classroom block for the people,” she announced.
The project will also relieve children of the students the burden of crowding over a few set of furniture during class hours.
“In addition, we are also going to provide furniture for the school and it will also come with teaching and learning materials so it’s great news for the people of Nhyiaeso,” Mrs Fiagbenu explains.
According to her, MTN Ghana could not have avoided Nhyiaeso because of the unique nature of the story.
“The story was quiet unique as it was told on your network. Looking at the story how emotional it is, looking at the pictures and the footage that followed it, it was difficult for us to say no. MTN Ghana Foundation is focussed on mainly three area; education, health and economic empowerment so this sits into the education portfolio and our aim is to provide access to education; our aim is to be able improve literacy and then things that has to do with children is also difficult to say no to”.
Back at Nhyiaeso, teachers and students are excited at news of the MTN Ghana Foundation’s support.
Vida Animah is a Class 4 teacher. She and her pupils use one of the life-threatening structures.
“We feel very, very happy because living in such situation is very bad. The last time you came here, you saw the structures, some were broken and others were not construct red well –so hearing this news, it would be very happy for us to live in a full structure and study for our future,” she said.
For officials of MTN Ghana, the impact would be enormous.
“The impact would be very great. We believe that this will help improve access to education in the village and not just in the village because we also understand that about 5 or 6 surrounding villages also use the same facility. So we believe that hundreds or more than 200 or 300 children are going to benefit from this project so the impact would be very great,” says Mrs. Fiagbenu
District Director f Education, Ernest Kwadwo Afari, cannot hide his joy.
He says the wait is over for pupils of Nhyiaeso who over the years, have been denied quality but access to education.
He is full of gratitude to the MTN and, especially, Multimedia Group for bringing the plight of the people to public attention.
“We are very much excited in hearing that, at long last, with the support of MTN, the people of Nhyiaeso and it settler farming communities are also going to have full-cycle of basic education.We will not be complete in expressing our appreciation without acknowledging the support we’ve received from the Multimedia Group. MTN couldn’t have known or heard of the plight of these little children. It has been made possible through the kind courtesy of the Multimedia Group.”