The Western North Regional Minister, Richard Joojo Obeng, says he will from next week begin the distribution of study desks to schools in the region as part of his ‘1 school child, 1 study desk’ initiative.
The Regional Minister, on Face to Face on Citi TV, said the region, with about 200,000 pupils at the basic level of education, has a desk deficit of about 67,000.
He looks forward to clearing the desk deficit that has built up over the years.
“We want to ensure that every school child in the region has a desk to sit on in school. Not only that, but we plan on putting in place a system to replace these desks from time to time.”
Mr. Obeng said this initiative is to support the central government’s efforts at improving the education sector.
“When I assumed office, I called on the Regional Director of Education to brief me on the state of affairs. During my interaction with him, I discovered that schools in the region were in serious deficit, in terms of study desk. I moved around a couple of schools in the region and what l saw was not the best; about 4 pupils sharing a dual desk.”
“I felt that something drastic needed to be done about the issue, which according to the Regional Director of Education had serious effects on their studies. Especially when our region is full of timber, I thought we need not wait on the central government to fix our problem for us, as they have other engagements. I see this as our own way of complementing the government’s efforts.”
Touching on how he intends to fund the project, the Regional Minister said, “we are looking within the region. First, I have had stakeholder engagements with the heads of government of the various administrative areas to prioritize desks under the education subsection of their budget. And as Regional Minister, I get to see their budgets.”
“All of them made commitments at the launch. Some pledged as much as GHS100,000 to spend within their budgetary allocation on desks. I have also spoken to some timber firms in the region to support the course, and the response has been very positive.”
He said the distribution of the desks will begin next week “with the over 3,000 desks received so far.”