INTRODUCTION
The Otumfuo Education Fund was initiated and set up by His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene. It was officially inaugurated on 13th November, 1999, by Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambers the then Deputy Minister of Education, six months after he was sworn in as Asantehene, (King of the Asante Kingdom).

There had been a consensus that the standard of education in Ghana had fallen significantly over the years at all levels of education, particularly at the basic level. Ashanti Region had recorded some of the lowest results in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Some of the causes of the decline in the educational standards were poor and inadequate educational facilities, lack of textbooks, poor conditions of service and poor remuneration for teachers, especially in the rural areas, and financial stress on parents and guardians leading to their inability to support their children/wards education. Armed with these observations, Otumfuo actively set out to mitigate the decline in fallen standards of education in Asanteman in particular and Ghana as a whole.

OBJECTIVES OF THE FUND
The Fund was set up to stop the decline in the standards of education by supplementing the efforts of the Central Government in the provision of quality education for all, especially, the people of Asanteman.

The main objective of the Fund is the advancement for the benefit of Asanteman in particular and Ghana as a whole through:

a. Financial Aid and/or Material assistance to bright but needy pupils and students.
b. Incentive packages for teachers and other educational workers who provide outstanding service.
c. Provision, Renovation or Rehabilitation of school buildings, structures and facilities.
d. Supply of school equipment, education materials or teaching aids
e. Employment of teachers, tutors, lecturers and other resource persons.
f. Investment in projects that promote education in Asanteman
g. Provision of any other Support/assistance consistent with the objective of the Fund.

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND
The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees. The Board is made up of thirteen members. The Fund also has a Trust Deed which has been registered. The Trust Deed stipulates all the laws governing the operation of the Fund.

The Fund has a Secretariat which undertakes the daily administration of the Fund and report to the Board. The Secretariat is headed by an Executive Secretary and is located at Room 14, third floor, of the SSNIT House at Adum in Kumasi.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE FUND

CONTRIBUTIONS IN KINDS
Since the establishment of the Fund, various individuals and organisations have contributed monies, school uniforms, books, computers, and equipment to the Fund for distributions to schools.

SCHOLARSHIPS
The Ohio University, USA, has offered one scholarship tenable at the University for a Course leading to the award of Masters of Arts in International Relations every other year. The scholarship covers tuition and feeding cost of the beneficiary. So far three (3) students have benefited from the scholarship and the last student is currently at the University pursing the programme.

Scancom Ghana Limied, Operators of Spacefon, now MTN, in September 2000 offered twenty (20) students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Scholarship through the Fund to enable them pursue their programmes of study. When MTN took over from Areeba the scholarship had been withdrawn.

The Polytechnic Council of the Kumasi Polytechnic since January 2003 offered Scholarships to ten (10) student each year for a period of five years. The offer ended last academic year and is expected to the renewed by the Polytechnic council.

Garden City University College during the 2007/2008 academic year offered the Fund 3 scholarships to 3 female students to pursue undergraduate programmes at the University.

Mr. Richard Roberts President of the Oral Robert University paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene at the Manhyia Palace during a crusade in Kumasi and promised two scholarships to the Otumfuo Education Fund for under graduate programmes tenable at the Oral Robert University.

Volta River Authority has since September 2002, been offering scholarships to six (6) students each year to pursue Senior High School education at the Akosombo International School. The Scholarship was reviewed in 2006. It was reduced to two scholarships every year with another two admitted as fee paying Students.

Philips Commercial College in Kumasi also offered three scholarships to orphans, tenable at the college with hostel facilities for girls.

Latex Foam rubber Products, Cita Printing Press and the Lion Club in Ghana have donated 5000 exercise books, 2000 exercise book, and 5000 Exercise books respectively to the fund. These exercise books have been distributed to basic schools in the various districts.

SSNIT
Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as part of their contribution to the Fund has donated a two room office at the SSNIT House in Adum which is being used as the office for Secretariat of the Fund.

OTHER DONATIONS
The wood workers Association and the Akwaaba Gold Society have donated 100 dual desks and 50 chairs and tables which were given to Afua Kobi High School.
Awura Abena Fashions and Unijay Fashions have donated School Uniforms which have been given to pupils in Junior High Schools.

Ghacem Ghana Ltd. gave the Fund one thousand (1000) bags of cement which were given to schools to undertake construction works.

The Asanteman Association in USA, donated 60 used computers to the Fund. These computers have been distributed to Senior High Schools.

Opoku Foundation based in U.K. recently donated medical equipment and textbooks which were given to the Kwadaso Hospital, KNUST, SDA NTC, Garden City University and Kumasi Polytechnic. EPP books also donated 5000 Scholastic Children Dictionaries which were distributed to basic schools in the various districts.

CONTRIBUTION IN CASH
At the inauguration of the Fund, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene announced that each adult Asante is expected to contribute a minimum of two Ghana Pasewas (GHp2) per month or twenty four Ghana pesewas (GHp24) per annum. The aim was to make it possible for each adult Asante to contribute to the Fund and therefore have a stake in the success of the objective for which the Fund was set up.
Apart from cash contribution from groups, organistions and corporate Bodies, some individuals have also made huge donations to the Fund.

Since its inauguration, cash contributions have been received from the following sources:
a) Individuals in Ghana have contributed to the Fund.
i) through their various social, religious or trade organisations
ii) through monthly deduction from their salaries at some workplaces
iii) through their various Paramountcies and
iv) by standing orders made at their banks

b) Corporate Bodies in Ghana have made substantial contributions to the Fund. These include the Banking and other financial Institutions, Ghana Telecom, Unilever Ghana Ltd., Guinness Ghana Brewery Ltd. among others.
Asantes and their friends in the United States of America, Canada, France and the Netherlands have contributed to the Fund.

OPERATION OF THE FUND
Apart from scholarships offered to pupils in basic schools and students in senior high schools, the Board of Trustees has during the past ten years helped to improve infrastructure in basic schools, Senior High and Tertiary institutions.

ACHIEVEMENTS
An amount of ninety five thousand nine hundred and sixty nine Ghana cedis (¢95,969.00) were given to forty three (43) schools to improve infrastructural facilities in the schools of which twelve (12) are outside Ashanti Region e.g. Ada Secondary School, Birim North District Assembly Education Fund, Wiawso Secondary School, Nchiraa cluster of schools, Tanoso Technical Institute, Ola Girls Senior High School, Achinrensua Senior High School, Duayaw Nkwanta Senior High School, Tuobodom Senior High School, Nkoranza Senior High School, SOS Tema, SOS Asiakwa etc. Some of the 30 schools assisted in the Ashanti Region include the following: Bekwai S.D.A Senor High School, Jacobu Senior High/Technical School, Adawomase Senior High School, Dompoase Senior High School, Asare Bediako Senior High School, Afua Kobi Senior High School. KNUST, Prempeh College, University of Education Kumasi Campus, St Louis Senior High School, Martyrs of Uganda, Agogo NTC etc.

THE TABLE BELOW GIVES THE NUMBER OF BENEFICIARIES GIVEN ASSISTANCE AT THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF THE EDUCATIONAL LADDER

 

Year Tertiary Second Cycle First Cycle Total
2000 600
2001 50 200 120 370
2002 50 206 120 376
2003 10 210 120 340
2004 20 170 90 280
2005 31 130 78 239
2006 31 112 56 199
2007 34 90 42 166
2008 24 82 37 143
Total 851 1200 663 2713

 

An amount of one hundred forty eight thousand six hundred and twenty two Ghana cedis twenty six Ghana pesewas (GH¢148,622.26) has been paid as school fees for the beneficiaries as at 2007. About thirty percent (30) of the beneficiaries are non Ashantis.

NUMBER OF BENEFICIARIES CURRENTLY ON THE SCHEME 

 

Educational Level Number of Beneficiaries
First cycle 37
Second Cycle 82
Tertiary 24
Total 143

 

The establishment of the Otumfuo Education Fund has set the pace for other traditional leaders within Ashanti and indeed throughout Ghana to set up similar education funds to help their people. Through the Education Fund, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s image has been raised both within and outside the country.

The seed sown by the Fund has began to yield results which can be seen in the good performance of senior secondary schools in Ashanti Region in recent times. Most of the schools in Ashanti Region have always been among the best fifty (50) out of the four hundred (400) in the country since 2003.

FUTURE PROSPECTS OF THE FUND
a) Depending upon the availability of funds the Otumfuo Education Fund would want to build a Library complex in honour of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. The library in addition to being stuffed well with Books for the Basic and Senior High School levels, will also have a very good ICT centre.

b) Establishment of a Technical /Vocational Institute to train BECE dropouts in fields
Like the following:
i) Auto Mechanics, Auto Spraying etc.
ii) Vocational – dressmaking, tailoring, furniture and Joinery
iii) Electricians – electronics
iv) Agriculture – Animals husbandry, poultry, Beekeeping, Snail rearing, Fish Ponds, Horticulture.
v) The Fund is also looking at the possibility of organizing evening classes for the illiterate old folks and early school drop outs.

c) The Otumfuo Education Fund also thinks that the emphasis should be shifted from individual scholarships to provision of Educational facilities, equipments, teaching aids etc which will benefit many more people.
In future the suspension of scholarships to Tertiary Students should be resumed on specialized basis. e.g. The Fund should be able to sponsor students to go to Medical and Nursing Schools and be bonded to work for the Fund’s selected areas for a number of years.

d) In line with its major objective of advancing education in Asanteman in particular and Ghana as a whole, there is a need to raise more funds to be able to adequately sustain the activities and programmes of the Fund.

Donation:

Please donate through the following Bank Accounts – Account details
GT Bank
Ghana Cedi
Account no.— 201/104837/0/1/1/0Account Type— Current Account
Dollar
Account no.— 201/104837/0/2/2/0Account Type— Foreign Exchange Account
Dollar
Account no.— 201/104837/0/2/3/0Account Type— Foreign Currency Account
Pound
Account no.— 201/104837/0/3/2/0Account Type— Foreign Exchange Account
Pound
Account no.— 201/104837/0/3/3/0Account Type— Foreign Currency Account
Euro
Account no.— 201/104837/0/4/2/0Account Type— Foreign Currency Account
Euro
Account no.— 201/104837/0/4/3/0Account Type— Foreign Currency Account
Ecobank
GHS (Cedi) Account.— 0010084427836501
USD FX Account— 0012064427836501
USD FGN Account— 0011084427836501
GBP FX Account— 0012064427836502
GBP FGN Account— 0011084427836502
EUR FX Account— 0012064427836503
EUR FGN Account— 0011084427836503