A new study of mining induced impact on education in Newmont’s ‘fenceline communities’ in the Asutifi North District Assembly (ANDA) has called for a stakeholder collaboration to ensure that children directly impacted by mining activities attend school.
The report implored the Education Directorate, the Asutifi North District Assembly, and Newmont Gold Ghana Limited to officially make a bus available to commute school-going children in the fenceline communities to and from school.
The Education Service, through the District Education Directorate, the Asutifi North District Assembly, and Newmont Gold Ghana Limited need to collaborate to formalize a busing system to commute school-going children in the fenceline communities to and from school. This will be purchased or assigned for that singular purpose,” the reported indicated.
These fenceline communities also known as ‘left-behind communities’ are Tutuka, Damso, Yarogruma, Yawusukrom, Manu Shed, Annanekrom among others.
The study entitled – ‘Mining-Induced Displacement’s Impact On Children’s Education: Children Of School-Going Age In Newmont’s ‘Fenceline’ Communities’ in the Asutifi North District Assembly (ANDA)’ – was carried out by a researcher, who is also a Lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Dr. Yaw Asamoah, with support from WACAM and Oxfam Ghana.
The report further recommended that a Scholarship and education materials such as books, school uniforms, school bags, as well as rechargeable lamps, footwear, and an adequate number of sanitary pads for girls need to be provided by the Newmont Ghana Gold Limited. This will compensate for the depravity they have been pushed to as a result for the mining company’s operations.
It also recommended that, as a long-term measure, NGGl, together with the District Assembly and traditional authorities in the district need to expedite efforts to resettle the ‘left-behind’ households in the fenceline communities, to make school easily and readily accessible to school-going children in these households.
The recommendations were made based on the fact that many of the school children in these communities miss early morning lessons because they trek long distances to their relocated schools due to the operations of Newmont.
The report also identified high school dropouts, low enrollment and attendance and poor academic performance as some of the challenges parents in these communities are grappling with.
The findings of the study were made known by Dr. Asamoah at a public forum in Accra on Thursday August 31, 2023.
The forum brought together representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), affected community members, traditional rulers to deliberate on the findings of the study on Newmont’s Ahafo South operations in the ANDA.
In a welcome address, the Executive Director of WACAM, Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, said the impact of mining on the education of children in mining communities cannot be over-emphasized.
He urged the powers that be to take serious interest in the issue of children’s education in mining areas, stressing that education was key to the success of every nation, adding that ‘we need to think seriously about the future of our children.”
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