McDan Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the McDan Group, has launched a campaign to rally the support of other corporate organisations to come onboard and provide school buildings for deprived communities in a bid to eliminate Schools Under Trees.
Commenting on what motivated the company to come out with such initiative, Executive Chairman of the Group, Daniel McKorley, said he was touched by recent reportage that showed the condition of some kids in the Upper East Region – attending school in a dilapidated structure and having to endure a lot of harsh conditions.
“I am personally taking it upon myself to make sure that I will be able to eliminate Schools Under Trees. We are launching this campaign to call on corporate Ghana to come along with McDan so that, within some few years to come, we will see thousands of schoolchildren studying in a very enabling environment. I don’t want to see these children grow up to be failures in the community,” he said.
The schools will have a six-unit classroom block each, with a staff common-room and two-bedroom apartment for the headmaster. They will be furnished with furniture, books and other learning materials, and are estimated at GH¢1million per school.
The project will begin in the three regions of the north, beginning from Teong Primary School, Upper East Region—the very school that was shown in the media reportage by GH One television.
Though a daunting task, as there are thousands of schools under trees in the country, Mr. McKorley said he is determined – with the campaign’s launch – to bring the situation to an end.
Mr. McKorley further called on government – in the form of tax rebates – to support companies which commit a lot of resources to solving social problems.
“As a businessman, I don’t have a problem with payment of taxes. But the situation where some companies are using their resources to support communities and others are not, then those who are doing so should be supported by government. In other countries, companies are given tax rebates on whatever they spend on corporate social responsibilities,” he said.
Schools under trees have long been a topical issue in the country, especially since government has made both primary and secondary education in public schools free.
This has brought a lot of pressure on government as there is a growing need to construct more school buildings in the country.
It is against this background that McDan Foundation is calling on other corporate bodies to also complement the efforts of government in solving this challenge.