Pencils of Promise marks 4 years of removing schools under trees

An unusual plea from a child beggar in the streets of India for a pencil instead of money, has left in its place tremendous stories in the lives of other children across the world.

Adam Braun, the American teenager on one of his trips to India, met a child beggar who seem to value pencil as the most important thing to him in the world.

Rather than begging for money, he begged for a pen.

Adam did not only give out his only pencil in his backpack, but also promised replicating the gesture to other children across the world.

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Six years on, this promise of a pencil for the underprivileged child has made an indelible impact; transforming the lives and improving learning environment of school children the world over.

Children in rural Ghana were privileged to have had Adam’s Pencils handed to them in 2012. Their activities which started in the Volta Region now extends to other parts of Ghana.

Education they say is a right. It is therefore the dream of every parent to have their ward enrolled in the best schools with all the basic amenities. This however does not always turn out to be the case in most countries in Africa including Ghana.

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Some pupils in Ghana study in structures which can best be described as death traps, and have proven to be very inhabitable in all weather conditions.

It is common to see schools operating under trees, dilapidated mud structures and palm frond shades. The situation also does little to save the pupils from snakes and other reptile invasion, which disrupts learning activities anytime they are sighted.

Records available shows that about 250,000 children of primary school age in the Volta Region, lack basic reading, writing and math skills.

Indeed, new beginnings are always difficult moments. But what is not started today is never finished tomorrow. The Pencils of Promise’s five years operations in Ghana mainly in the Volta Region, has made giant strides in improving the quality of education.

Headed by Freeman Gobah, the Country Director, Pencils Of Promise has touched the lives of pupils and teachers by continuously removing schools under trees and equipping teachers with the necessary skills to help improve teaching and learning in schools.

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As of 2016, at least about 20 districts in the Volta Region had benefited from their projects with additional two districts in the Eastern Region also benefiting. Over 97 schools have so far been rescued from collapsing.

Adaklu District has been one of such districts which has benefited massively from the benevolence of the NGO.

The population of Adaklu District, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, is 36,391, representing 1.7 percent of the region’s total population.

Of the population, 3 years and older (33,952) in the district, 19.0 percent has never attended school, 41.1percent are currently attending school and 40.0percent have attended school in the past.

It is no wonder the district was named one of the poorest in the country by the Ghana Statistic Service.

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Safe in mind that Education is the surest way to defeat poverty, ignorance and inequality, the Adaklu District together with other districts in the region are partnering with the NGO to fight poverty and its other issues.

With the interventions from Pencils of Promise supported by the MP ofor Adaklu, Hon Kwame Agbodza, education and academic performance has improved in the area. At least nine (9) school blocks were built and well-furnished for pupils and teachers in the district.

Teachers and their pupils are being supported with teaching and learning materials such as E-Readers, Tablets, Posters, Wall hangings and paintings, literacy kits and books. Over 150 teachers in the region have benefited from teacher support programs.

To ensure a holistic education, Pencils of Promise also introduced its water, sanitation and hygiene module, where the schools are provided sanitary facilities, Polytanks, water filters, buckets and pupils groomed to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Other beneficiary districts include Ho, Ho West, Agotime Ziope, Afadzato South, Central Tongu, South Tongu, Akatsi North, Jasikan, Nkwanta North, Kpando, Akatsi South, Hohoe, Ketu North, Ketu South, Keta among others.

Indeed, the story of Pencils of Promise didn’t only give hope to these children, but also empowers them to reach beyond their immediate environment to fight the war of poverty and ignorance.

By: King Nobert Akpablie/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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