A passionate basic school teacher at the Mankessim Biriwa Methodist ‘B’ Basic School of the Central Region, Rebecca Ampah, beyond her regular mandated duties, has gone the extra mile to equip her students with industrial and entrepreneurship skills.
Her love for children and the teaching profession has been the motivating factor that influenced her actions to assist the children from basic school to identify their hidden talents and build on them.
Madam Ampah has been equipping the school children, especially those that pass through her class, with extra curricula activities in industrial skills – such as fashion and design, weaving, painting, baking, among others to groom them before moving to the next stage of their academic ladder.
She believes the interest of the young ones to venture into entrepreneurship and to build their future careers at an early age would be unearthed through such innovative initiatives.
“The upbringing of the younger generation should not be the sole responsibility of the biological parents but all and sundry.
“I started this initiative in 2015, after realising that most of the children from the community do not have any handy work, and also do not have anyone to assist them. What also urged me was that I realised most of the learners in the coastal areas are not able to continue with their education after completion of JHS, and some of them also take care of themselves in school due to the neglect of some parents as well as financial problems.
“Based on that, I use my resources to train the pupils in my school in entrepreneurship skills to help save the situation to reduce the high teenage pregnancy being recorded in the area every year,” she said.
She mentioned that though the beginning of the project was very difficult, with determination and perseverance, she has been able to sustain it. “I became fed up at a point, but with the support from the school and the ‘Boys’ and Girls’ Club’ in the region who assisted with some materials required for the training, we have been able to sustain it for the past five years,” she added.
Madam Ampah expressed her desire to scale up the project with benevolent support to ensure every child from the area gains access to either industrial trade or entrepreneurial skills that would not deny them of any future opportunity.
“At least, if they fail to further their education, they will have some handy work to depend on to survive, which is better than not having any skill at all and therefore having to depend on family and friends at this critical moment,” stated Madam Ampah.
She targets impacting at least 200 children in the next five years as a way of contributing to the development of the nation for economic growth as she also seeks support to establish a resource centre in the community equipped with the training equipment to support the young boys and girls who might not be able to further their education.
So far, about 100 young girls have been trained free of charge, of which many have used skills acquired to establish businesses while others are still in school at the secondary and tertiary levels.
I am therefore pleading to the government, donor agencies, and corporate institutions to help provide financial support and some equipment to train the young ones from these less-endowed communities for a better tomorrow.