Mr Fiifi Boafo, Senior Public Affairs Manager of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has indicated that COCOBOD scholarships which served as a source of educational support towards cocoa farmers in the country are being invested in building model schools in cocoa-growing communities.
He said after the implementation of the government’s flagship program, Free Senior High School (SHS), it has now become significant to reinvest the funds that were set aside for the COCOBOD scholarship to build model schools to improve the standard of education in the communities.
Speaking in an interview with Kwame Offei, host of Adzekye Mu Nsem on Spice FM a local radio in Takoradi, Mr Boafo noted that, due to the government’s free SHS policy, the organization thought it wise to focus on building model schools with some of the scholarship funds to enable students in the deprived communities to compete equally with those in the urban communities.
This, he said, has the potential of improving the learning gap between students in the rural and urban areas to ensure a level playing field.
“Some of the children in the cocoa farming communities do not have access to the right facilities to facilitate teaching and learning, thus the Board’s decision to use part of the funds from the scholarship scheme to build and furnish model schools to enable students to compete equally with other students in the urban towns.” He said.
Part of the funds from the scholarship scheme, he mentioned, has been proposed to be set aside to finance the tertiary education of brilliant but needy wards of cocoa farmers.
Mr Boafo was hopeful that in building the model schools, children who trek for miles before accessing education in other towns would be truncated thus, making it more accessible and stress-free.
“Children in remote areas walking about 5 kilometres just to access education in other towns is likely to give up education because of the stress it comes with.” He stated.
He further expressed the optimism that the decision would motivate children to enjoy schooling which would shape them into becoming better people in their communities and to serve as role models to others.