The Bolgatanga Technical University (BTU) in the Upper East Region has begun the construction of a Day Care Centre on campus of the University to assist female students with young children and babies to keep them and attend lectures and other academic activities.

The project, which is being funded from a grant of AUD $49,834.00 from the Australian High Commission in Ghana, also aims to help mothers who are staff of the University to have decent place to leave their children while at work.

The project, which had already kicked started, aims to establish a day-care facility with gender equality programming at BTU to provide a safe and inclusive environment for children while ensuring female students have equal access to education and opportunities.

At a brief ceremony to hand over the project to the Directorate of Works and Physical Development of the University for the commencement of the project, Professor Peter Osei Boamah, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University, stated that upon completion, the project wo
uld help reduce the barriers faced by female students and staff with young children.

Professor Boamah stressed that management of the University recognised the crucial need to support female students, particularly those who were parents, in pursuit of higher education.

‘The facility will enable female students with young children to attend classes and participate fully in academic and extracurricular activities’ he stressed.

‘It will also allow female staff to concentrate on core duties instead of worrying over how to go for their children in the city centre (which is three miles away). This has had a toll on the work culture and output of female staff.’.

He stated that the catchment area of the University lacked standard pre-school and indicated that the project when completed would be of immense benefit to the university community and its catchment areas.

Professor Boamah stated that the University, through the Directorate of Works and Physical Development, would collaborate with the Building Technolog
y, Electricals and Electronics Engineering and Industrial Arts Departments to complete the project by April 2025.

He stated that management of the University acknowledged the support of the Australian High Commission in Ghana for the project and appealed to other development partners to complement government’s efforts in the development of the University.

Professor Daniel Azerikatoa Ayoung, the Project Lead, said through gender equality programming and support services, the project would enhance the retention rate of female students while creating an inclusive and supportive campus culture.

He explained that a need assessment through a baseline gender equality study was conducted, and participants, mainly female students and staff, mentioned the lack of a day care centre on the campus as a major factor contributing to low enrolment and retention of female students, particularly in reference to lactating mothers and pregnant women.

‘Consequently, the conceptualisation of this project had been made possible
through the strong advocacies from women of the University’s community and its immediate catchment area’, Professor Ayoung stated.

He expressed optimism that upon completion, the project would help increase female enrolment and retention, particularly those with young children, greater participation of female students in academic and extracurricular activities, positive child development and attitudinal and behavioural changes towards gender equality and female empowerment.

Mr Tom Mboya Asigre, the Director of Works and Physical Development, gave the assurance that the project would be completed on schedule, adding that students from the various departments assigned to participate in the building of the project stand to benefit a lot from the practical and professional angles.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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