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Philanthropist builds school blocks for Gurumbelle primary, JHS

2011-05-26 21:57:39
This article has been read 615 times.

A Dutch Philanthropist, Brother Dick Vandergust, has provided three classroom blocks, each comprising three rooms and an office for Cardinal Peter Dery’s School at Gurumbelle in the Wa East District.

He has also built an eight room residential accommodation for the teachers to encourage them to stay in the community and teach. Brother Vandergust spent GH¢100,000 of his Dutch pension benefits on the projects, while the community members provided free communal labour.

Inaugurating projects at the weekend, Brother Vandergust described the occasion as a feast of unity between the Catholic Church and the Gurumbelle Community.

He said about five years ago, he got pensioned from the education service in his country, Holland, and wanted to use part of his pension entitlements to build a three-classroom block for a community in a remote area that was in dire need of classrooms.

He said he contracted the Catholic Education Unit in Wa with the information and Gurumbelle was chosen because they had been struggling to get a proper infrastructure for their school.

Brother Vandergust said he realised that his pension money was inadequate and that he could only support a community that was prepared to provide communal labour free of charge towards the implementation of the project.

Fortunately, the Gurumbelle Community accepted that challenge and the first block was built for the Primary School but the children population was more than the three classrooms.

Therefore, he was encouraged to build the second block to cater for the increasing population of the school.

After that, the third block was constructed for the Junior High School and a residential accommodation for teachers to encourage them to accept posting to the school and have decent places to stay and teach the children.

Brother Vandergust commended the Gurumbelle Community and said with unity they could achieve more development for the school, pointing out that if the community members had not provided communal labour free of charge, his assistance would have only built two classroom blocks.

“I want to commend elders and youth of Gurumbelle for their hard work and a sense of unity,” he said. “Your community is blessed with serious elders and listening youth.”

Madam Dominica Dassah, Wa East District Director of Education, who graced the occasion, said the district was created in 2004 with only 81 basic schools but now has 144 basic schools.

These comprise 43 kindergarten schools, 68 Primary Schools and 33 Junior High Schools and needed 76 classrooms at the Kindergarten, 144 classrooms at the Primary and 48 classrooms at the Junior High School levels respectively.

Of the 144 schools in the district, less than 20 schools have teachers’ accommodation with many of them having no source of good drinking water.

Madam Dassah said the Gurumbelle School still did not have a classroom for its Day Nursery Unit and appealed to the Wa East District Assembly and non-governmental organisation to go to the aid of the school.

She appealed to parents to take good care of the projects and also send their children to the school and support them to complete their basic education.

Ahmed Bakuli, head teacher of the School, said teachers used to conduct classes under trees and during the rainy season teaching and learning was always disrupted.

With the provision of the facility, it would help to enhance teaching and learning and bring total development to the community, he said.

A student of the school complained to the Ghana News Agency about inadequate furniture in the school and appealed to the district assembly and Ghana Education Trust Fund to provide the school with furniture.

After blessing the school, its name was changed from Roman Catholic School to Cardinal Peter Dery’s School in honour of the late Peter Cardinal Dery who worked hard towards the promotion of education in the northern part of the country.

The first batch of 15 students has written this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination and were awaiting results.


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