A sixteen-year old student, Ms Samantha Boateng, a graduate of Grarfield High School in the United States of America, has built a library for students of the New Gbawe Cluster of Schools at Gbawe-Mallam in Accra, with the help of individuals and institutions.
The new library, dubbed, ”Read 2 Lead Library” and is intended to enhance reading and also improve teaching and learning in the schools.
The facility is also equipped with books and 22 computers, which were collected from community libraries, schools, churches and radio listeners within a period of two years, with support from students of New School of Northern Virginia, USA.
In addition to the library, a scholarship of GH¢1,000, under the Samuel and Francisca Boateng Scholarship, will be given to a brilliant, needy student from the school every year to take care of his or her educational needs up to the university.
Since its inception in the early 1990, the school has undergone some structural changes with the addition of new schools on the same compound.
The school currently has about 5,000 students on the same compound but lacks some educational amenities such as computer and science laboratories.
Before the new library, the only library situated on the compound was set up in a container which was donated by a former US President, George Walker Bush, and his wife, Laura, in 2008.
According to some teachers of the school, some of the books in the library were outdated while a number of the books were also missing.
Reading brings change
Addressing the ceremony at an event in Accra, Ms Boateng said her love for reading and the need to help others to achieve their aim in life motivated her to set up the library facility for some deprived schools in Ghana.
She added that reading was fundamental to life and an important part of education and she was happy that her school helped her to mobilise over 2,000 books and some cash in 2014 to put up the library for the students of Gbawe.
Ms Boateng, therefore, advised the students to use the facility to acquire more knowledge that would help them achieve their various ambitions in future.
She also urged them to pursue their academic journey, saying, “do not be afraid to try something new. Always take chances, never give up, dream big, and read to bring out the best in you.”
Ms Boateng also said the project was committed to building more community libraries to provide insightful information, promote the love and pleasure for reading among students and providing a warm facility for learning and discourse.
The Headteacher of New Gbawe M/A 1 Basic School, Mr John Gyatsen, lauded Ms Boateng for her desire to bring change in the community.
He pointed out that the facility, coupled with the new computers, would effectively improve teaching and learning in the schools.
He also called on other benevolent institutions, as well as the youth, to take up such initiatives to support education in the country.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for Weija-Gbawe, Mrs Tina Mensah, who made a donation of GH¢5,000 to support the project, said education could not be achieved without books and it was important for students to read at all times in order to achieve their aim.
She also urged members of the community, teachers and pupils to maintain the facility for the benefit of the future generation.
Other benevolent organisations and individuals also made some cash donations to help equip the library with the necessary facilities.