The AGA-Obuasi Community Trust Fund has presented a cheque for GH¢80,000.00 as payment for the 2020/2021 tertiary educational grant meant to support brilliant-but-needy students.
The educational grant, launched two years ago, aims to enhance access to tertiary education for students living within the Obuasi mine catchment area, including Obuasi Municipality, Obuasi-East, Amansie-Central and Adansi-North Districts.
“It is an initiative seeking to build the human resource base of the mining community through higher learning and skills development,” Mr Francis Amoah, Programme Manager of the Fund, said.
Addressing the presentation ceremony at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, he observed that higher education was pivotal in the accelerated growth of any society.
“Our vision is to create opportunities for the youth to realize their potentials and God-given talents irrespective of their financial background,” the Programme Manager noted.
Mr Amoah hinted that in all, 40 students, comprising 20 males and 20 females, all first-year students, were selected to benefit from the grant for the 2020/2021 academic year.
This brings to 80 the number of beneficiaries being supported to pursue their tertiary education under the grant, he said.
Mr. Elijah Adansi-Bonah, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Obuasi, said the Government was appreciative of the contribution of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGAG) Limited towards educational development of the mining community.
“This is a step in the right direction given the critical role education plays in transforming the society for the better,” he said.
Mr Edmund Oduro-Agyei, Superintendent for Stakeholder-Engagement, AGAG, indicated that the Trust Fund was to make investments in ways that contributed meaningfully to community development.
That vision, he said, was aligned with the priorities of communities in the mining catchment area as well as the local government.
Mr Oduro-Agyei said the Trust Fund in 2015 launched a similar scheme for Senior High School (SHS) students, of which 100 students from the mining communities were beneficiaries until the introduction of the Government‘s Free SHS policy.
He was hopeful that the educational initiative would help to reduce the school dropout rate from the SHS to tertiary within the catchment communities.
Some of the beneficiary students, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on the sidelines of the programme, said the grant would serve as a motivation in pursuit of their educational goals.