Renovation works on eight classrooms and an office for the local Roman Catholic basic school at Saamang in the Fanteakwa South District of the Eastern region of Ghana are progressing steadily under the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), a partnership between the district assembly and Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), a non-profit-making organisation, which helps West African communities that are threatened by the destructive impacts of extractive projects to take control of their futures.

When completed, the renovated block will provide a more convenient teaching and learning environment for the kindergarten and the primary sections of the school and ultimately contribute to the overall improvement in educational standards in the district.

Moreover, the enrolment is expected to increase by 10% one year after it has been completed and put to use, reduce dropout rate by 5% as well as reduced the cost of education for pupils in Saamang by 15%.

So far, the entire roof of the school has been demolished while new beams with iron rods are being fixed. Also, the pillars are being replaced with stronger ones before the building is re-roofed.

Out of its $9,000 (approximately Gh.c 108,000) microgrant earmarked for the project under FCAP, the community has so far spent Gh.c 60,000 (approximately $4,500).

Also called Oman yie die, FCAP is a partnership between ACA) and the Fanteakwa South District Assembly as part of measures to strengthen local participation in the implementation of the Assembly’s medium term development plan.

In an interview, the Assembly member for the Saamang Electoral Area, Desmond Ofori Abrokwa, said the state of the school block prior to the start of the renovation works was deplorable and adversely affected enrolment as well as effective teaching and learning.

“It is our hope that when the renovation works are completed, our kids will have a much better conducive environment to go about their studies. Also, teachers will be happy to give of their best when they have good classrooms to teach and an office to hold meetings and mark assignments”, he said.

According to him, every effort is being made to ensure that all the remaining renovation works are completed before the beginning of next term so that the pupils can use the facility as early as possible.