In 2016, Asanko Gold Mines Ltd. signed a six-year CAN$ 600,000.00 funding agreement with CODE which brought the Reading Ghana Programme back to the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region. CODE raises funds in Canada to match Asanko’s funding for the programme which is implemented by GBT.
The project is Asanko Gold Mines’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the community within which it operates. The Reading Ghana Programme is one out of five of Asanko’s ways of investing back into the community. The Asanko Opportunity Cycle embodies the core aim of their CSR Programme to create positive, self-sustaining legacies in their local communities beyond the life of the mine, that empower current and future generations. The Asanko Opportunity Cycle is made up of:
- Access to Education (Reading Ghana Programme);
- Vocational Training;
- Access to Finance;
- Growing Local Businesses; and
- Improving Living Standards.
Reading Ghana in the Amansie West District is a comprehensive literacy programme whose ultimate goal is to improve learning outcomes of primary and junior high school children through the acquisition of reading, writing and critical thinking skills. By improving student learning outcomes in upper primary and junior high school (JHS), this initiative supports completion rates and contributes to strengthening the basics skills of youth in the District.
These youth can then continue onto senior high school (SHS), transition to TVET training or enter the workforce. This will result in improved basic literacy skills for girls and boys and ensure that the youth stay in school long enough to obtain marketable life skills.
Beginning in 2016 and this project cycle is to continue till 2022, GBT has been working in Obotan and Esaase which are two of Asanko Gold Mines’ catchment areas. At the end of the 2019/2020 fiscal year, 34 schools had participated in the project. Thirty four head teachers, 102 teachers from Primary 4 to 6 and Junior High School 1 – 3, and thirty four teacher-librarians had benefitted from the training workshops.
Supplementary readers had been donated to all 34 schools. Another ten schools are expected to participate in the programme during the 2020-21 academic year, bringing the total to 44 schools for this project cycle. It is expected that in the last year of the project, all teachers who have participated in the programme will attend Refresher Workshops.