SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana sees improving the education of local children in communities surrounding endangered frogs’ habitats as an essential component of the long-term conservation of such species. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Therefore, in 2016, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana launched its Young Scholars Program, designed to achieve two major goals: (1) improve the resources of less-endowed schools; and (2) provide scholarships to academically gifted but economically disadvantaged children.
Accordingly, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana established the Sui Amphibian Conservation Education Centre (SACEC) in the village of Yawkrom, which is surrounded by the Sui forest, the only remaining home of the critically endangered Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). We stocked the education centre with computers, books and other resourceful academic materials such as standardized exam preparation booklets.
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana regularly organises quizzes and essay writing competitions, with competitive awards given to deserving contestants. The SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana staff also assists with teaching and helping some students with their homework. Further, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana has enrolled some teachers of the school in alternative livelihood projects to motivate them to give off their best.
These efforts are already paying off. Last year, the Yawkrom Junior High School set a historic record in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), a nationwide exam that junior high school students take to gain admission to senior high school. From obscurity, the school placed among the best performing public schools in the region. In particular, four students (two girls and two boys) scored distinctions, beating out tough competition at the national level to gain admissions to prestigious senior high schools such as Prempeh College, Yaa Asantewaa Senior High School and Sefwi Wiawso Senior High School.
Among notable alumni of these elite schools include:
While these four students have gained admission to prestigious senior high schools, their attendance is in no way guaranteed: as the students must leave their home village and travel to the distant schools, financial constraints have traditionally prevented many qualified students from taking advantage of their acceptance to these schools. The cost of tuition, books, travel, room and board for one year is $1,918 per student, which is far beyond the means of most students in this remote part of western Ghana.
As there is no high school in Yawkrom, students who remain at home often receive no further formal education and have few career opportunities. With limited options, many would be eventually be forced to subsist by felling trees in the rainforest or making farms in the only habitat of the Giant Squeaker Frog. As such, the fate of the Sui forest and of the Giant Squeaker Frogs is directly related to how successful we are in raising funds to provide scholarships to these bright young students. Keeping these kids in school is essential if we are to keep the Giant Squeaker Frog’s habitat safe and intact.
Hurray!!! Charity Nyarko, a beneficiary of the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Young Scholars Programme, has completed Senior High School passing all courses. She is the first student to score A1 (the highest grade) in Mathematics for communities around the Sui Forest. Charity aspires to be a journalist in the future.
As part of its Young Scholars Program, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is seeking funding to provide scholarships to these top four students and thus ensure that they take advantage of their once in a lifetime opportunity to attend these prestigious high schools.
We invite and encourage you to donate to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana through this dedicated donation page and help us fund these four students’ scholarships.
Together we can save Ghana's frogs and educate Ghana's youth! Thank you for your support!
Amphibian Biologist Gilbert Adum is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana and is Chief of Environment in the village of Yawkrom, home of the Giant Squeaker Frog.
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