Valco Trust Fund has launched a project to eliminate a total of 5,403 schools under trees and deplorable school infrastructure in Ghana at a cost of GHS3.5 billion supported by the Ghana Education Service, Energy Ministry and Education Ministry.
According to the Acting Executive Director of Valco Trust Fund, Mr Kelvin Kwaku Yeboah, figures on all schools under trees and deplorable schools in Ghana have already been collated for the project to start.
Speaking at a Valco Trust Fund press conference in Accra, Mr Yeboah said: "Through the Real Estate Times WhatsApp, online campaign with GES and some DCEs, we have been able to collate data on every single school-under-tree and those that are in a very deplorable condition nationwide".
"Ladies and Gentlemen, there are a total of 2,417 schools under trees and 2,986 schools that are in deplorable conditions nationwide," he said.
The regional distribution for the schools under trees and those that are in deplorable conditions are as follows:
Region, under-tree and dilapidated:
Bono East – 330 under trees and 0 dilapidated.
Northern – 314 under trees and 229 dilapidated.
Central – 301 under trees and 0 dilapidated.
Upper East – 233 under trees and 63 dilapidated.
Savannah – 155 under trees and 5 dilapidated.
Western – 154 under trees and 694 dilapidated.
Ashanti – 149 under trees and 530 dilapidated.
Ahafo – 142 under trees and 117 dilapidated.
Upper West – 131 under trees and 115 dilapidated.
Bono – 119 under trees and 202 dilapidated.
Oti – 117 under trees and 99 dilapidated.
Volta – 101 under trees and 39 dilapidated.
Eastern – 78 under trees and 131 dilapidated.
Greater Accra – 63 under trees and 305 dilapidated.
Western North – 30 under trees and 388 dilapidated.
North East – 0 under trees and 69 dilapidated.
Mr Yeboah noted that "there are 5, 403 schools under trees and deplorable school structures in Ghana as of today".
Further breakdown into kindergarten, primary and JHS:
JHS – 423 dilapidated and 261 under trees.
Kindergarten – 1,014 dilapidated and 989 under trees.
Primary – 1,549 dilapidated and 1, 167 under trees.
For his part, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Opoku Amankwa, has pledged that the GES will fashion out plans to improve the maintenance culture of all the infrastructure to be established by Valco Trust Fund for schools and existing ones.
"Occasionally, we see such school buildings being used by others for different purposes. We'll have a plan to maintain existing and infrastructure that will be put up after the project has being carried out by Valco Trust Fund and its partners. If we don't take care of such projects, we are not helping our economy.
"If we get the money, we wish to eliminate the schools under trees in Ghana before the five years. It's a national call for all of us to put our hands to the wheel," Prof. Amankwa said.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh in a speech delivered on his behalf by Chief Director of Energy Ministry Lawrence Apaalse said his office "will supply power to the schools that will be built for students to be able to study in the night with one of the IPPs already donating GHS 10,000 to the Valco Trust Fund.