World Bicycle Relief in partnership with World Vision International (WVI), have donated 3,000 brand new bicycles free of charge to fifteen basic schools in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
The bicycles would help improve upon access to school and ensure quality education for the pupils, as they would get to school early and be active to participate in class.
The fifteen basic selected schools are in the Mirigu, Serigu and Kandiga area Councils in the District where WVI operates. Among the schools include the Amenga Etego, Anisore, Atiyororom, Father Morin, Kaasi, Kandiga, Kurugu, Gunnum, , Mirigu, Nabango, Nyangolingo, Sirigu R/CA and B Mother of Mercy and Busongo Primary Schools.
The Field Operations Officer, Ms Elizabeth Sagoe, who read a speech for the Interim National Director of WVI to Ghana, Mr Esperance Klugan , at the launch of the “ Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme(BEEP)” , at Kandiga Primary School, explained that a baseline survey conducted by WVI revealed that about 25 per cent of school children in Basic Schools in Ghana mostly in the rural setting commuted between two to five kilometres daily to school making majority of them drop out of school.
He said as a child focused NGO, with the primary aim of protecting the rights of the children and providing access to health care, quality education , water, Sanitation and Hygiene and livelihoods security , WVI partnership with World Bicycle Relief to provide the bicycles was timely and appropriate.
He said the WVI had invested close to 1.5 million US dollars on school infrastructure, training of teachers including the provision of teaching, learning and recreational facilities as well as Water and Sanitation facilities in the Kassena-Nankana West District.
“The impacts of these interventions include improved water coverage for children, improvement in school enrolment, functional Parent Teacher Associations and School Management Committees among other,” the Interim National Director said.
Mr Klugan lauded the efforts of WVI Italy for playing a key role in the process and impressed upon the World Bicycle Relief Italy to continue the collaboration with WVI by extending BEEP to other communities in the District and entreated all the trained volunteers who have been mandated to monitor and supervise the use of the bicycles to prolong their lifespan, to live up to their obligation.
The Regional Director of Education, Mrs Jane Sabina Obeng , said most school pupils in the Region could not read and comprehend and warned that the Directorate would not countenance absenteeism and lateness of teachers to school.
She indicated that both the District and the Regional Directorate of Education would intensify their monitoring and supervision role to ensure that teachers do the right thing.
The Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Abdulai Abubakar, who was the Guest Speaker, lauded the efforts of WVI for complementing the developmental efforts of the Region in the areas of Water, Hygiene and Sanitation and Education, and said about 70 per cent of the beneficiaries who received the bicycles were girls.
“This will help improve upon the attendance and retention rates of the girl-child in school”, he said.
The World Bicycle Relief is a global bicycle charity Organization that supports people in developing countries to conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive with access to education, healthcare and economic opportunities.