SOLAR ELECTRIFICATION EDUCATION & DEVELOPMENT PROJECT About 80% of the rural communities in Ghana do not have access to electricity. Despite the obvious connection between electricity and educational achievement, major steps have to be taken to provide a cheaper source of energy for educational purposes. Such an absence of focus is detrimental because, as another study put it, “education is also widely recognized as one of the most essential components for poverty reduction.” Lack of electricity at primary and secondary schools, therefore, creates considerable obstacles towards escaping poverty and correlates with many factors that contribute directly towards it. Rural electrification programs have focused on connecting villages incrementally to the existing grid, typically reaching towns and settlements in order of the least expensive. However, despite this progress, efforts to electrify schools have lagged behind and left millions of children in the dark. Roughly, one in five schools lacked access to electricity. Although the government of Ghana has long term plans to extend electricity to the entire country, this will take several years to be realized. Schoolchildren in these rural areas find it very difficult to study when it is dark. As a result, their performance in school is adversely affected. Access to quality basic education is a right for all children. However, the absence of electricity in the rural areas of Ghana is denying schoolchildren this right to education. Our project is designed to help schoolchildren in rural Ghana to receive solar energy system that will provide electricity for lighting, which will enable classes to be taught early in the morning or late at night. Electricity access will facilitate the introduction of ICTs into the classroom such as computers. We also hope to seek assistance and funding to provide technical assistance for solar lights to these needy schoolchildren. However, The SEED Project is not in the position to finance such a project. This is because of the low financial capacity of our organization, and our inability to raise substantial funding for rural development interventions locally. The project will reach out to schoolchildren in rural areas all over Ghana. We intend targeting all schools lacking electricity for this intervention. We can ascertain at least five positive benefits related to the electrification of schools: (1) lighting and extended studying hours, (2) facilitation of ICT in the classroom, (3) enhanced staff retention and teacher training, (4) better school performance based on attendance, completion rates, and Energy and Education test scores, and (5) co-benefits such as improved sanitation and health, gender empowerment, and community resilience. The SEED Project is currently holding discussions with parents and teachers on this initiative for their contribution to ensure that the project succeeds. Parents and teachers are showing great interest in the education of their wards and are willing to partake in kind or where possible pay for the cost of replacement of a part when funding is secured for the initial investment. The SEED Project will readily be providing progress and financial reports to the donors and ensure that the project meets the aspiration of the schoolchildren. Donors are also welcome to visit the project sites in Ghana and learn more about the country. As part of the reporting process, photographs will be provided in all reports and sent to the donors within the agreed period. The Solar energy project for schoolchildren in Ghana is expected to be implemented within a year; from March 2020 depending on funding. We hope the project will show a way to the government of Ghana to support smaller solar systems for school children in the absence of electricity in rural areas. Organizations and individuals can collaborate with this project by providing funding. The SEED Project will form a project implementation and management committee. The committee will then meet regularly to discuss and plan towards the management and sustainability of the project. This will involve partners such as the district office of the Ghana Education Service, the District Assemblies/local government, and other interested local NGOs in Ghana. The project will require funding for payment of compact small solar panels and components, batteries and bulbs per classroom per school. This is estimated to cost $36000 USD. We can also receive donations of solar panels, batteries and bulbs.
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