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Established 17 years ago by our Damang mine in Ghana, the Nana Amoakwa Model School (NAMS) continues to deliver quality education to pupils in Damang and surrounding rural communities.
During the recent Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), it was named the Best Performer in Science among junior high schools in Ghana. The Ghana Education Service (GES), part of the Ministry of Education, also rated NAMS as the Second Most Improved School nationally at the BECE this year.
The school has a history of achievement. For example, in 2015, it was the Third Best Performing in Science, and the most improved junior high school in the country. In 2013, Jude Yirifah from NAMS was named Best Teacher nationally.
Damang mine set up NAMS as a model school in 2000, believing that quality education can be delivered and achieved, irrespective of location, if supported with the required infrastructure and learning programmes. NAMS operates as a public school under the GES, but has benefited from educational support (infrastructure etc.) through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation. With funding from the foundation, the mine has also established a teachers’ motivation scheme through which it pays a top-up allowance of up to 70% of the teachers’ basic salaries. Since the scheme’s inception, NAMS has achieved a 100% pass rate year after year.
Alex Gyan, NAMS’ headmaster, says: “We attribute NAMS’ performance to the motivation the Damang mine provides us through infrastructure, learning aids, and especially the teachers’ top-up scheme. We’ve been able to attract and retain some of the best teachers as a result of the scheme.”
The mine’s support also extends to the pupils. Over 500 indigent but brilliant community residents have benefited from the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation’s scholarship and bursary scheme since its launch in 2005. The majority of these students have been able to attend reputable senior high schools, and subsequently, tertiary and other institutions of higher learning.
Although it is located over 300km away from Accra, Ghana’s capital, the NAMS example demonstrates that quality education may have less to do with geographical location, and more about providing the right infrastructure, support and incentives.
The Damang mine and Gold Fields Ghana Foundation congratulate the pupils, teachers, and management on their achievements this year.