By Gideon Ebbah, GNA
Oyoko (Ash), April 15, GNA – The School of
Dispensing Optics, the premier optical training school in West Africa located
at Oyoko in the Ashanti Region, has called for support from the government and
other stakeholders to aid the construction of lecture halls and student
Mr. Kofi Boakye, the Principal said, the
school which started as a private facility, became state-owned in year 2008 and
has since not boasted of its own on-campus hostel as it also grapples with
limited space for lectures.
He said the current situation is not only
hindering its vision to be become first class international eye-care
training/resource centre by scaling up intake, but disrupting lectures and
other on-campus activities, since the students are compelled to live in rented
houses in surrounding communities.
Speaking at a Students Representative Council
(SRC) week celebration held on the School at Oyoko, which coincided with a
fundraising activity in aid of an infrastructure development project, underscored
the urgent need for more lecture halls to augment its current two 40-seater
halls, which was woefully inadequate.
“The cost of commuting in and out of campus,
coupled with high rents paid to landlord’s, is increasing the financial burden
of students and this needs to change, to attract more students to opt to be
trained,” he added.
Mr. Boakye said the construction of a
four-storey students’ hostel, with a 600-bed capacity, estimated to cost GH¢685,876.00,
is what has been envisaged for the students’ hostel, under the project.
For the lecture halls, he said, another
four-storey facility-12 lecture rooms with a seating capacity of 70, estimated
to cost GH¢790,672.00, would be required.
He said the Oyoko Traditional Council had
donated 35 acres of land to the school, on which the construction has already
commenced and is at the foundation stage.
‘‘We hope to complete the ground floors of
both projects by September, this year, to enable us admit our total target of
300 students”. The Principal said.
He said currently the school’s main source of
funding, is the fees and levies charged from students and that the project
could only materialize when stakeholders came to their aid.
Mr. Paul Nkrumah Takyi, the Ashanti Regional
President of the Optician Association of Ghana, and an alumni, also appealed
for support in terms of the provision of state-of-the-art equipment to enhance
the quality of tuition and practical work.
He also called for a 10-year strategic plan to
facilitate a better coordination of the Alumni and other key stakeholders.
Mr. Jonas Adu, Chairman of the Stakeholders’
Association of the School, pledged support to solicit the necessary funding for
the infrastructural development venture.
Mr. Amoateng Keneth, the SRC President it was
becoming dicey for students to stay on campus to study during late hour, since
some of them have suffered night time
robbery attacks, on their way back to the hostels.
Nana Kwasi Oduro, Benkumhene of the Oyoko
Traditional Area commended the leadership of the school for its contribution to
the human resource base of the nation, in the area of eye care service
delivery, in spite of the numerous challenges confronting the school.