Mrs Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson, Board of Directors, UN MDG Advocacy Group, based in South Korea, on Wednesday, inaugurated the 29th UN sponsored library for the Freeman Methodist School in Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.
The project dubbed “Thank You Small Library (TYSL)” is the 29th school library to be constructed by the UN in public schools across the country in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.
The TYSL formed part of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism Eliminating Poverty (STEP) programme, which are organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism in beneficiary countries.
Mrs Young-Shim, who is also the Director-General of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in South Korea said so far 123 small libraries had been constructed in Africa with Ghana having the highest share of 30.
The 30th TYSL is under construction at the Tema Manhean 1 and 2 Junior High Schools in Tema. She lauded the integral roles libraries played in the education and the total socio-economic development of countries.
“South Korea, which used to be a poor country and without natural resources invested much in the education of its citizenry hence the ability to move out of poverty,” she added.
Mrs Young-Shim expressed South Korean Government’s willingness to work with Ghana as it was the first country in Africa to establish diplomatic ties with her country. She said the library stocked with computers, books and other learning materials cost about $20,000. Mr Baba Jamal, Deputy Minister of Tourism lauded the UN for the initiative as libraries were an important facility for learning, information sharing as well as for recreation and relaxation.
“In a school and a community that might not readily have such a facility, the children are disadvantaged because they are forced to roam about in search of library services,” he said.
He pledged the Ministry’s commitment in ensuring that the project’s objectives and subsequent deliveries were in conformity with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs), which had targeted the reduction of extreme poverty by 2015.
“The TYSL model is based on the Korean experience of “Development through Education.’ We in Ghana are prepared to learn from that experience for our Better Ghana Agenda”.
He said a library was indispensable to the intellectual growth of a community, especially children who were its foundation. Mr Baba Jamal noted that the collaboration between ST-EP Foundation and Ministry of Tourism to provide library facilities in schools should be seen as an important addition to an existing requirement for schools to be equipped with libraries.
Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, appealed to parents to desist from attacking teachers when they discipline their children in school. He said Freeman Methodist was chosen because it was an old school built in 1846 and needed to be honoured with all the needed facilities to enhance its continuous service to the community.