Summarized Report of Cesrud Activities

CESRUD (Centre for Sustainable Rural Development is a community based organization with Sumbrungu area as its operational zone. Sometimes, however, her activities can happen outside the zone.

For quite some time the organization was seen through its effort with the Sumbrungu Bunsiness Women’s Association (SUBWA), where, from the late 1990s, it has organized more than 2000 women, helping them in micro finance and in cottage industries.

Almost in the same vein, in collaboration with friends of Africa Village Libraries (FAVL) an America NGO, CESRUD runs three libraries established in Sumbrungu, Sherigu and Gowrie.

For the last five years, CESRUD has also been involved with an estate development company in Holland to build rooms for the very vulnerable people in Sumbrungu. Another NGO was also linked up with the same company to do the same thing in Bongo. The Dutch company did that as part of its corporate social responsibility. Sadly, it has decided to turn to other areas in the world and so that programme has ended.

THE YOUTH AND EDUCATION

The real activities of CESRUD are geared towards improving upon the quality of education through the training of teachers, the PTA/SMCs within the catchment area as well as rolling out activities which benefit the students and pupils of the 1st cycle schools within the Bolga West B Circuit of the Bolgatanga Municipal Directorate of Education.

 

In view of these noble objectives, a number of projects are on going: inter alia, CESRUD is proud to be the brain behind the underlisted ones:

  1. Teachers Resource Centre Project

  2. The BEQUIP Project

  3. Textbooks Project and

  4. Economic Clubs Project

TEACHERS RESOURCE CENTRE (TRC)

This is our flagship project and this was, as most of our activities, funded by a good friend of Mr. Rex S.A Asarga. This friend had to establish a foundation, Amsterdam- Bolgatanga Foundation, to enable him to solicit for funds for CESRUD to put her plans into action. The CEO of the Amsterdam-Bolgatanga Foundation is Mr. Herman Huijmams of Amsterdam, Holland.

The TRC as we see now was inaugurated on the 27th February, 2015 and has (a) Computer Centre, (b) A Conference Hall and (c) Offices for the organization as well as the Circuit Supervisor.

 

COMPUTER CENTRE

It is a convenient structure allowing for all Junior High School students of the circuit to learn information and Communications Technology (ICT) There are sixteen computers for students and 1 for the instructor. The schools take turns to visit the computer centre to use the computers without fail.

 

CONFERENCE HALL

A fairly well furnished hall allows for various activities involving teachers of the circuit and other organizations extending help to the circuit

Lively Minds (a British NGO) and USAID have, at different times, accessed this facility to meet teachers of the circuit.

 

Instead of going to Bolga in order to consult the CS, teachers can and do call now on him in his office at the TRC.

 

THE BEQUIP PROJECT

BEQUIP (Basic Education Quality Improvement Programme) has been designed by a Dutch NGO, Edukans and they designated another international NGO, IBIS with its agency in Ghana, IBIS – Ghana ,as facilitators. In fact, the IBIS facilitators were trained in Holland for the purpose.

 

From October 2014 to February 2017, five (5) TOT (Training of Trainers) workshops have been organized in Sumbrungu involving an average of 60 teachers each time. Topics the participants were taken through included all aspects of active learning,ie

 

  1. Active and Passive Learning

(b)Learning Styles (visual, auditory, tactile, kinaesthetic)

(c)Concept Building

(d)Effective Group Work

(e)Preparation and use of TLMs

(f)ICT as a teaching tool

(g)Learning Activities

(h)Teaching Activities

(i)Classroom Observation Matrix

(j)Preparation of Teaching Notes/Lesson Notes

(n)Giving and Receiving Feedback

 

These workshops have been valuable in enhancing the methodology of classroom delivery and as timely intervention refresher courses which the Ghana government has, over the years, found too expensive to carry out.

 

These workshops have been very expensive but worthwhile as the circuit has increasingly recorded an improved performance in the district. As a result, some of our schools are beginning to rub shoulders with most of the public schools in the municipality. Of course, the private schools are way ahead of all schools, including those in the urban area of Bolgatanga.

 

The TOT workshops are aimed at getting those trained to, in turn, train their colleagues at the school and cluster INSETS and so all teachers eventually benefit from BEQUIP, not to mention the students and pupils who are the real beneficiaries of this important programme.

 

Normally the TOT is centrally organized in the SUBWA Centre and then following which the CESRUD Training Coordinator and the CS are responsible for ensuring that the INSETS are carried out in their presence. We are happy to note that any that despite the problem of lack of funds at the school level, teachers have generally been enthusiastic and co-operative in getting the maximum attainable at the INSETS.

 

After the INSETS, the head teachers also take over from that point and supervise in their schools. The CS and CESRUD Training Co-ordinator also map out the circuit and do monitoring and supervision as part of the total scheme. Understandably, teachers are kept on their feet throughout the term. Needless to say that the whole concept of active learning has brought about a difference in teaching and learning and the needed outcomes. Almost all these workshops cost more than GH¢ 18,000.00 each to run.

TEXTBOOKS BOOKS PROJECT

Even though the government supplies textbooks to all schools in the circuit,as in all publc schools all over the country, there were serious inadequacies and so, in view of that, CESRUD was able to source funding through its sponsors. The CS was then tasked to furnish us with the textbook needs of all the schools and by the end of October, 2015 CESRUD supplied books to all the schools in the following areas:

  1. English Language

  2. Mathematics

  3. Integrated Science

For all the JHSs, in the circuit and also a lot of assorted textbooks for all the kindergarten and primary classes1 to 6 at great cost. Indeed, the textbooks situation in our circuit is easily the best in the Education Diredtorate of Bolgatanga and we are proud to say so. In all ,2,897 government prescribed textbooks at an average cost of between 15 and 17 cedis each were distributed.

WORKSHOP FOR PTAs/SMCs

In January and again in February, 2015, it was thought that stakeholders in the education enterprise needed to be trained on management techniques and administrative skills so that together with the teachers the schools could better run with community involvement as,in principle,generally expected by the government of Ghana.

In respect of this, there was a selection of 80 participants from the circuit, made up of a member each of the PTAs and SMCs of each school as well as the heads of schools (both the primary and JHS) and their assistants.

CESRUD engaged two facilitators who had vast experience in training that calibre of people and therefore the participants were taken through all the essential aspects of capacity building which included:

  1. How SMC/PTA ensure good relationship with the Head teacher

( b)How SMC/PTA ensure good parent/teacher and community relationship

©How SMC/PTA ensure transparency in the management of school finance

d)How SMC/PTA ensure improved outcomes of examinations (ie. SEA, NEA & B.E.CE)

e)How SMC/PTA improve the quality of instruction

f)How SMC/PTA monitor and supervise Head teachers, teachers and pupils attendance. The facilitators, the workshop materials and catering services cost a substantial amount of money.

 

ECONOMIC CLUBS PROJECT

Aware that rural children have many disadvantages, CESRUD planned to roll our programmes that would help the students and pupils within the circuit to bridge the gap between them and their urban colleagues.

The idea was to start with students of the JHS and ,with time, expand to involve all of the them. As usual, everything hinged on funds. The areas CESRUD targeted were categorised into

  1. Tree planting and the Greening programme

  2. Educational Talks

  3. Educational Tours/Excursions

  4. The Goat Scheme

 

Membership of the Economic Clubs ,for reason of cost, were initially limited to 50 students of each JHS with a teacher chosen to coach or guide them.

 

For now, CESRUD is liaising with relevant government agencies, ministries and experts to draw the roadmap so that the way forward can be clearly spelt out i.e. Ministries of Health, Food and Agriculture Department of Parks and Gardens, Forestry Commission, Health Institutions, Agricultural Colleges and relevant experts.

Out of the 20 schools, CESRUD has started with 2 out of the first 5 to start the goat scheme. This initiative is reformed by the struggle rural parents go through to supply the needs of their wards when they pass to enter the Senior High Schools. The rational is to enter into some arrangement where each student in Form 1 in JHS is given a nanny goat to rear for three (3) years. In thinking of this, it was agreed that parents should be made to commit themselves to help their wards to ensure that these goats would be properly taken care of so that over three (3) years these could multiply to an average of between 6 and 10 goats. These would then be sold and largely take of care of the expected expenses for entering the SHS.

To ensure success, parents would sign a formal undertaking to

  1. Not sell out the goats during the period of the three years rearing.

  2. Not sacrifice same to the gods.

 

CESRUD, for its part would provide, in addition, veterinary services to ensure survival of the ruminants in order to achieve the final goal. So far St. Charles Lwanga and Yebongo Form 1 JHS students have received or are about to receive their goats and hopefully , the others will follow soon. For the two schools, 95 goats are involved.

 

COLLABORATIONS WITH OTHER NGOs

The nature of the activities of CESRUD is such that we need all the assistance we can have and so we are linked to about (5) NGOs who are contributing in cash and kind. These are

  1. Amsterdam-Bolgatanga Foundation

  2. Edukans (Holland)

  3. Friends of Africa Village Libraries (F.A.V.L)

  4. BIBLIONEF. Ghana

  5. Aya Afrika Foundation

As earlier mentioned, a lot of funding comes from Amsterdam-Bolgatanga Foundation. Edukans (Holland) have been assisting us through Amsterdam-Bolgatanga Foundation and are also instrumental in linking us to BIBLIONEF. Ghana which is far advanced in its plan to start libraries for all the schools in our circuit. It will train a teacher librarian for each school and initially supply 365 books to each school to start the libraries.

 

Aya Afrika Foundation has selected 3 areas in Ghana i.e ANLOGA, KROBO- ODUMASI and BOLGATANGA (through CESRID) to delve into the root cause of the dismal performance in Mathematics and integrated science. It is also linking CESRUD to the Canadian Teachers Association for sponsorship of identified programmes. It is in the light of this that CEO of Aya Afrika Foundation,Prof Nene Kwesi Kafele, has made a number of visits to Ghana. In February, 2017 it organized a workshop in Accra involving these three selected areas. In March, it sponsored successful reading clauses in Sumbrungu and Sherigu. In these two centres, 40 students each were selected in the catchment areas referred to and for a whole month, pupils of Lower and Upper Primary were taken through rigorous classes.

 

Two teachers each and a library assistant in both sherigu and Sumbrungu were involved in the programme. The pupils were given a meal after their regular classes at their various schools and then taken through intensive 2 hour classes At the end, the instructors were also motivated with cash reflecting the budget of the programme. Subsequently, when the budget is enhanced, we would be glad to motivate these volunteers more.

CHALLENGES

  1. All workers in CESRUD, as you are probably aware are volunteers and so their allowances are not commensurate with their roles. There is the need to periodically review these allowances.

  2. More schools are asking for more books in different subjects but for the time being, we are unable to respond positively mainly due to lack of funds.

  3. The TRC needs a water system and a sustainable way of securing electricity for the centre, especially the computer centre. Some effort has been initiated but so far only one school has been able to contribute GH¢ 86.00. We doff our hat to St. Charles Lwanga JHS for the wonderful effort. CESRUD has been assured by the CS that the others would soon follow suit.

  4. The TRC deserves either a fridge or a water dispenser.

  5. It should be possible for CESRUD to find various sources of funding to back its lofty plans.

  6. The BEQUIP programme was helpful but the last three workshops were largely a repetition but our hands were tied and so the money used could have helped us to do other things. Some level of flexibility might be negotiated in the future if such schemes come up again.

  7. The TRC definitely needs a laptop

 

OUTREACH PROGRAMMES

With time and resources permitting, CESRUD intends to extend some of her activities beyond the Bolga West B Circuit. Some modest effort has been imitated in this direction.

 

In October, 2015, CESRUD organized BEQUIP workshops, using our home-grown facilitators to reach 7 circuits in the rest of the Bolgatanga municipality. These were divided into 3 groups and so from the 19th October to the 30th October the following circuits and participant were involved:

  1. Group 1 (Oct. 19,20)

Bolga Central A, Central B and West A, made up of 56 teachers and 3 CSs

  1. Group 2 (Oct. 26, 27)

Bolga South West, South East, made up % 42 participants and 62 CSs

  1. Group 3 (Oct. 29, 30)

Bolga North East and North West, Made up of 51 participants and 2 CSs

Meals were provided and at the end, a token was handed out to every participant for transport.

 

CONCLUSION

  1. We must acknowledge the effort of the Circuit Superivsor in two areas:

  1. But for the untimely death of Mr Ali,( may his soul rest in peace)we were the services of someone whose posting to CESRUD,was largely due to a response to an appeal for more hands at the TRC.His presence was a big relief to our present caretaker-security youngman,Mr Nelson Akurugo.We are aware that the hard working CS is still trying to find a replacement against the backdrop of a policy change at the Ghana Education Service,calling on communities to throw in their bit when it comes to issues of this nature.

  2. The Circuit Supervisor has so thoughtfully instructed the Kulbia and Kulgo schools to ensure that the TRC s kept clean on a regular basis.We appreciate the service rendered by these schools.

  3. I wish to propose that we symbolically name our Computer Centre and our Conference Hall after the main sponsor of CESRUD and the Director of CESRUD.It would nice if we called the Computer Centre as HERMAN COMPUTER CENTRE and thehall as REX HALL or ASANGA or REX ASANGA HALL.

  4. In the same spirit, I do not see why we cannot refer to the Conference Hall at the SUBWA CENTRE with a name identifying the group in Holland that immensely helped CESRUD to put this asset in Sumbrungu.I humbly suggest THE CONNINGEN HALL.

  5. Prerhaps we could ask the chiefs in our catchment area to nominate a volunteer each so that these would take turns to watch at night at the TRC.For more than four years the Zorkor SHS entered into such an arrangement with the chiefs and it workedddddd very well.It is worth trying to see whether it would work here too.

In all this, one factor cannot be glossed over. The king-pin of all these activities is none other than Mr. Rex S.A. Asanga.

 

It is only fair that we recognise the yeoman’s role of this personality. His desire to make a difference has always goaded him on to reach far and do his level best.

 

It is his personal touch with people he encounters in life and interacts with that often lead to these laudable achievements.

 

Mr. Rex S.A. Asanga at one time was a CEO of three NGOs, one, an international NGO, TRIAS and two local NGOs, Northfin ( a Foundation) and CESRUD-Ghana.

There is no doubt that he is a mover-and- shaker par excellence. He has put Sumbrungu on the world map through his links and tireless effort to improve the lot of his community and others.

There is more to expect from him. To him Kudos.! More grease to his elbow.

Compiled in May, 2017

Programme Officer/ Training Co-ordinator

John O. B. Salifu (Mr.)