By: Francis Npong
Chielens’ enskinment as a queen mother in Ghana’s countryside was heralded by a colourful traditional ceremony in her honour. Her nomination and subsequent installation was informed by the role she played in the construction of a 3-unit classroom block in that community.
Her coronation which was performed by the chief and opinion leaders, supported by the entire community was not only to show their appreciation to Star Schools Project but also to celebrate the new school.
Langbina, located about 13.8km from Gambaga, East Mamprusi District Capital and about 193.2km from Tamale, the capital city of Northern Region, was operating a school under-tree that was providing makeshift classroom for hundreds of Ghanaian rural children living in Langbina.
This makeshift classroom was not enticing enough to attract more children to be enrolled into school.
Like any other rural community in Ghana, Langbina lacks many social amenities such as electricity, clean drinking water and good roads among other things.
The people of Langbina are poor with the majority of their children not attending school. To encourage more children to be enrolled in school, the Star Schools Project supported the consturction of a 3-unit classroom block to replace the makeshift classroom that was being operated under a tree.
This project which was implemented through Alliance for Strengthening Education in Ghana (ASEG) and sponsored by Edukans Foundation under the Star Schools Project, has seen an increased in enrollment of children from Langbina community.
Not only that, the project also provided adequate furniture, teaching and learning materials, coupled with the training of teachers, School Management Committee (SMC) and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to enhance quality education delivery to the pupils.
“The project did not only build the school block, but has also provided school furniture, teaching and learning materials to the school”, said Karim Ramatu.
Ramatu who is a project officer of ASEG said, the training of SMC, PTA and teachers was to encourage community ownership and effective management of the school. They were trained on best practices.
This, she said was to enable these stakeholders to effectively deliver quality education to these vulnerable children. The community, she said was in dire need of the school infrastructure to replace the makeshift classroom they have established to provide quality education to their children.
“During our baseline survey, we came across this school and decided to support it by constructing a new 3-unit classroom block”, she said. The community had operated a school under tree for quiet a number of years before the new classroom block was constructed, she added.
Ramatu said, to show their appreciation to the Star Schools Project and recognizing the role Miet Chielens has played in the construction of the school, the chief and people of Langbina have decided to ordain Miet Chielens as a Queen Mother of Langbina. The enskinment she said meant that Miet has become a citizen of that community.
She was enskinned under a title “Zineiya-Rana” which means “Out of Darkness or Redeemer”. Miet Chielens automatically becomes a citizen of Langbina with the responsibility to oversee the transformation of both human and natural resources available at the community to benefit both the current and future generation.
Ramatu congratulated Miet Chielens for her new position which she said was somewhat difficult to gain as a woman in a rural community in Northern Ghana. “This gesture shown by the community alone means that they really appreciated the project and valued the people behind it”, she said.
The Executive Director of Savana Signatures,Mr. John Stephen Agbenyo congratulated Miet Chielens for her new position. He commended the chief and people of Langbina for appreciating the Star Schools project and hoped that the community would own and manage the school well to benefit the entire community.
The Director said, it is the dream of Savana Signatures to see all children irrespective of where they found themselves in Ghana accessing and using ICT to better their lives. He said ICT as a tool has a potential to improve quality education delivering in Ghana. He urged Langbina community school management to embrace and effectively deploy ICT to provide quality education to their children.
He congratulated Miet Chielens for her new position as a Queen Mother of Langbina community.