The Mayor of Accra, Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, on Wednesday toured some development projects in the metropolis to assess progress of work.
The tour which took him to Osu Market, Additrom School at Adabraka, Odawna Pedestrian Shopping Mall, Achimota Primary School, Guggisberg Avenue and Alajo-Onyesia drains also afforded him the opportunity to assess the decongestion exercise in the metropolis.
Others are the management of KLM and Azar Paints who have pledged to assist in the elimination of the shift system in education.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) was compelled to adopt the shift system some years ago where a classroom was shared between two classes for the morning and afternoon.
This, the Mayor said was "unfair to our future leaders" and noted that there was the need to arrest the situation until the needed resources were made available to build over 2,000 classrooms needed in the metropolis.
The assembly has therefore made cessation of the shift system a key priority on the agenda of the Accra Millennium City programme.
"Our goal is that at the beginning of the 2010/2011 academic year in September, this year, 71,000 pupils running the shift system should begin to enjoy full school work", he said.
The assembly's endowment fund was launched last month to meet the critical challenges confronting public schools.
The GH¢6,000,000 fund is to help put an end to the shift system which gives over 71,000 pupils only four hours of studies instead of the required eight hours and denying them of quality education.
About 6,055 dollars has been accrued to the fund and GH¢3,100 received in pledges from some corporate bodies.
Mr. Jack Urlus, Country Director of Royal Netherlands Airline (KLM), presented a cheque for GH¢24,000 while management of Azar Paints presented GH¢6,000 and pledged to provide paints for the school buildings.
At the Osu market, the Mayor tasked the technical team to clear the pavement of structures and traders for free flow of pedestrians especially children.
At the Additrom School at Adabraka, he gave a two-week ultimatum to encroachers occupying school lands to leave to pave way for new school building towards an end to the shift system in the area.
The Mayor also visited the Odawna Pedestrian Mall and called on traders who had not occupied their stalls to do so before Sunday, March 28 or have them re-allocated to other traders.
He noted that the Novotel and Tema Station markets would be moved to the mall to ease the congestion at the various lorry parks in Accra, while a place would be allocated to articulated vehicles to offload their goods.
The Mayor pleased with work on the Alajo-Onyesia drain extension which had been completed on scheduled said the drain and others in the metropolis would be desilted to ease the flooding problems in Accra.
At the Achimota primary school, Dr. Vanderpuije presented a cheque for GH¢100 to Master Daren Sackey, winner of this year's National Spelling Bee Competition and encouraged him to win the international finals.
Dr. Vanderpuije, also an educationist, reiterated his call to the business community, financial institutions, information technology services providers, telecommunication operators, oil distribution companies, airline companies, churches, international organisations such UNICEF, USAID, World Vision, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to continue to donate to the fund which has an account number 1000100585501 at the Accra main branch of National Investment Bank
"The AMA also welcomes donations in kind such as building materials, cement, iron rods, roofing sheets, sand and stones, nails, paint, lumber and furniture."
The assembly is expected to provide 84 pavilions for primary schools and 45 pavilions for Junior High Schools, 13,600 pieces of dual desks for the primary schools and 7,327 dual desks for Junior High Schools.
In addition, an extra 1,340 sets of teachers' chairs, tables, and 1,172 storage cupboards for both primary and JHS would be required.
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