The sufferings of female students of Huni-Valley Senior High School in the Western Region from incessant bedbug infections due to a deteriorated and congested girls’ dormitory block have come to an end.
This is a result of the completion and handing over of a 360-bed capacity girls’ dormitory block with four 2-bedroom apartments for teachers by Gold Fields Ghana Foundation.
Speaking to Citi News during the commissioning of the US$980,000 new girls’ dormitory block, Joshua Mortoti, who is the Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa said the investment is part of the foundation’s needs assessment findings to address the concern and help increase girls enrolment as well as better their chance of working for the mines.
“The Foundation invested over US$980,000 in this project to help tackle the accommodation deficit for girls in the school and to reduce the number of female students residing in off-campus hostels. Sixty-five (65%) of the student population at this school is female. 371 of them reside in off-campus hostels and homes whilst the remaining 656 are boarders on campus. We believe this new facility will help to significantly improve the level of education.”
“One of Gold Fields’ Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) targets is to increase the percentage of women in its mines to 30% by 2030. The best way to do this is to support the training of girls at the SHS and Tertiary levels of education. Through our scholarship programme, skills and graduate training programmes, we have made a conscious effort to include more females, to also ensure they acquire employable skills and to create a pipeline for possible employment,“ he said.
Mr. Mortoti further highlighted some investments the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has already made and continues to make in its catchment communities.
“Since its inception, the Foundation has invested US$ 9.5 million in education for our Tarkwa and Damang host communities. Currently, 37 public schools in these communities are undergoing a 4-year reading and comprehension programme, in partnership with a Canadian NGO. This is targeted at equipping students at the lower and upper primary levels to improve their reading and comprehension skills. For the past two years, the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation is supporting a team of 10 students from Huni Valley SHS to prepare for the National Science and Maths Quiz. It is our hope that, very soon, students from our communities will also see themselves on such a huge national stage exhibiting their intellectual prowess,“ he added.
The Member of Parliament for Prestea-Huni-Valley, Wisdom Cudjoe on behalf of the School and his constituents, while thanking Gold Fields Ghana Foundation noted that the new dormitory block is timely for both continuing and form-one students to start school as it will prevent them from sleeping on the floor for fear of bedbugs.
The Quiz Mistress of the National Maths and Science Quiz, Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann who graced the occasion emphasised the need for investment in Ghana’s education sector to drive home development in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemana Konney also encouraged more mining companies to emulate Gold Fields Ghana to invest in their immediate communities to strengthen their social license.