Accra (Ghana), June 15, 2015: India is to set aside two scholarships every year for post-graduate students from Patriensah, a small town in this West African nation's Asante-Akim district that is attempting to improve its falling educational standards.
The two scholarships will come out of about 25 offered annually to Ghanaian students for higher education in India.
"We send up to 250 Ghanaian nationals from different walks of life to India for various training and skill development progammes," Indian High Commissioner to Ghana K. JeevaSagar said and promised to consider at least 10 applications from Patriensah every year.
This is being done following a decision taken by the chiefs and people of the town to establish a foundation to help improve its falling educational standards, Sagar told IANS.
The chief of Patriensah, Nana Osei Darkwa, set up the Nana Osei Dankwa Education Foundation (ODEF) to fight the high dropout rate in the town of only 8,000 with poor educational infrastructure and inadequate basic teaching material. Sagar, who was impressed with the move, said the initiative to improve the education of the people would give them "dignity and improve" their self-confidence.
"India's founding fathers placed a great deal of emphasis on education and development of science and technology," he said, and promised to look at how selected people from the town could benefit from training for artisans and craftsmen at the India's National Institute of Design.
This training will help improve skills in basketry, weaving and woodwork, Sagar said, adding: "We would also be able to help in value addition to various resources if Patriensah can identify them and bring in Indian investors."
"For developing countries like India and Ghana, small and medium enterprises and agriculture offer the best areas of economic cooperation," he added.
The high commissioner said that when the foundation takes a more concrete shape, India could look at areas for cooperation in the information and communications technology sector.
"We could help the foundation with training of instructors and even exchange of experts," he said.
According to Sagar, education without values is meaningless and while teachers and academics impart education, it is the community which should inculcate its values, and congratulated the people of Patriensa for doing just that. (Francis Kokutse can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)