The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Dawhenya Methodist Basic ‘A’ School for the construction of a 14-unit washroom facility to enhance environmental sanitation in the school.
The project is being executed in partnership with the Korea Foundation for International Health (KOFIH) at the cost of $34,000 and is expected to be completed in four months for the use of some 1,144 students in the school.
The KOICA is seeking to end open defecation in the school and also support adequate and equitable access to sanitation and hygiene facilities while paying special attention to the needs of girls and the most vulnerable.
The Country Director for the KOICA, Moo Heon Kong, signed on behalf of his organisation while the headteacher of the school, Regina Amegah, signed on behalf of the school.
“Safe and healthy learning environments require attention to the physical condition of the settings as well as the assurance of frequent, consistent and positive teacher-student and student-student interaction,” Mr Kong said.
He pointed out that the KOICA believed that a healthy learning community that was physically, emotionally and intellectually safe would provide the foundation for inclusive high-quality education.
The KOICA, which has had a long-standing relationship with the school dating back to 2004 when it supported its construction, has over the years dispatched volunteers under the World Friends Korea (WFK) Volunteer programme to teach in the school as part of efforts to improve education within the community and the Ningo-Prampram District.
“We are pleased that the implementation of this project and others will lead positive student and learning outcomes,” Mr Kong said.
He gave an assurance that the KOICA would continue to support the school through the creation of an enabling environment that supported teaching and learning.
“We view this partnership as part of a package of long-term support for the educational system in Ghana,” he emphasised.
For her part, Ms Amegah said improving access to sanitation was a critical step towards reducing the impact of diseases and protecting vulnerable female students, especially those who otherwise risked facing sexual harassment and assault when defecating in secluded areas.
The District Director of Education for the Ningo-Prampram District, Sarah Adibrosu, said in her welcome remark that the project had come at an appropriate time as the school needed such a facility to promote adequate hygiene among the adolescent students.
She indicated that the absence of sanitary facilities had denied students, particularly girls, the opportunity to practise appropriate hygiene and “we in the district are hopeful that the completion of the project will significantly improve environmental conditions in the school,” she said.