The people of the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region can now boast a community basic school designed to provide their children with free education up to the junior high school level.
The project, estimated at about GH¢275,000.00, was inaugurated on Thursday with an initial intake of 135 pupils from the 11 neighbouring communities in the area. They are Kuntanase, Jachie, Pramso, Aputuogya, Abidjan-Nkwanta, Kokobiriko, Apinkra, Abrankese, Oyoko and Behinase.
Located at Behinase, about 12 kilometres off the Kumasi-Lake Bosomtwe Road, the Bosomtwe Community School is providing the pupils with free tuition, educational materials, uniforms, transport and meals.
Mr Ibrahim Yusif, an ex-player of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club, now based in Zurich, Switzerland, and his group of partners in that country, initiated the project and are sponsoring the school.
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Yusif, currently a physical education teacher at a Zurich International School, supported by a key partner, Madam Elfi Majeres, has, since 2006, mobilised resources towards the completion of the first phase of the project involving the construction of two classroom blocks, a library, a computer laboratory, dining hall and sanitary facilities for the nursery and primary sections.
Genesis of the project
Narrating the genesis of the school, Yusif, affectionately called 'Oubda' by his Swiss students and colleagues, said he toured the Behinase area during a visit to Ghana in 2004 and was "moved by the sight of over 20 kids crammed into a small ramshackle wooden structure with a laterite floor as nursery school under the name 'Arise and Shine' and managed by Mr Joshua Mensah, a citizen."
He said, "I was so emotionally moved by the plight of the poor kids that I instantly changed my dream of building a soccer academy to establishing a school for these unfortunate children."
From that point, Yusif said: "I never looked back. I initiated a vigorous resource mobilisation drive back in Switzerland to finance the school, and with the amazing support of my students, their parents and other partners, the outcome of our collective efforts is what you see here today."
Good educational system
"As a nation," he stressed, "we need to have a very good educational system; the type of education which will prepare our children to enable them to face life and become responsible leaders of tomorrow."
The guest speaker, the Human Resource Director of the Forestry Commission, Mr Andy Osei Okrah, praised Mr Yusif, Madam Elfi Majeres and the other partners for investing in the future of the Ghanaian children, describing the collaboration as productive efforts.
Mr Okrah, who is also the President of the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition Initiative (YPYC), a network of young professionals committed to raising the next generation of African transformational leaders poised for a total economic emancipation of the continent, harped on the need for African countries to harness the energies of the youth to transform their societies.