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Education

News

Livestream: Newsfile discusses Apeatse explosion, Speaker’s security and Ghana’s economy downgrade

Today on JoyNews, Newsfile will discuss the measures needed to ensure Apeastse is rebuilt following Thursday’s explosion that claimed 13 lives and destroyed about 500 homes.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has noted that Government is launching a full-scale investigation into the incident caused by a collision between a vehicle carrying mining explosives and a motorcycle.

To mitigate the effects of the incident, government has donated GH₵200,000 to the victims and pledged to foot the medical bill of all injured persons.

Also, government says it has engaged the State Housing Corporation and mining companies in the area to provide an instant haven for the stranded community members.

Host, Samson Lardy Anyenini and his panellists will also take a look at the education system for pre-tertiary institutions. This is needful as government has reversed its decision to introduce a semester-based system for basic schools in the country.

The Education Ministry last Thursday announced the introduction of the semester-based system in place of the trimester one.

The show will again dive into the security of the Speaker of Parliament.

Following the withdrawal of four officers attached to the office of Speaker Alban Bagbin, Parliament has written to the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to request four military personnel as security detail for the Speaker.

Both the Majority and Minority Group have been in contention over the subject matter.

Meanwhile, International ratings agency, Fitch, has downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’ with a negative outlook.

The downgrade of Ghana’s IDRs and Negative Outlook reflect the sovereign’s loss of access to international capital markets in the second-half of 2021, following a pandemic-related [COVID-19] surge in government debt.

Samson Lardy Anyenini and his guests will take a bite on this matter as well.

News

Government re-instates trimester system for basic schools

The Ministry of Education has reversed its decision to introduce a semester-based system for basic schools in the country.

This follows protests by various stakeholders who claimed that they were not consulted, before the policy was announced.

The Ministry last Thursday announced the introduction of the semester-based system in place of the trimester one.

However, in a statement issued on Friday, January 21, 2022, it has rescinded its decision.

“After further consultation on the issue, the Honourable Minister for Education has directed that the calendar for Kindergarten to Junior High School for the current academic year should be reverted to the Trimester system.”

Consequently, the Education Ministry announced a new date for the academic calendar of the basic schools.

The basic schools pupils will now be in school from January to April 14 for the first term and resume on May 10 to August 18 for the second term. The third term will begin from September 13 to December 22, 2022.

News

JusticeForHanifa: Kano govt orders closure of primary school minor was buried

 

The Kano State Government has ordered the immediate closure of a private school, Noble Kids Academy, at Kwanar Dakata, in the Nassarawa Local Government Area, where the body of an abducted five-year-old girl, Hanifa Abubakar, was buried by the suspects.

 

The state Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, announced the closure of the school in a statement.

 

The remains of the victim, who was abducted in December, were discovered in a shallow grave at the primary school.

 

The Commissioner, expressing sadness over the incident, announced that “the state government would commence an investigation of unregistered private schools and teachers to check such criminal activities.

 

“The school has also been closed till further notice.”

 

He admonished parents whose children attend the private school to stop them from doing so pending the completion of the investigation.

 

Meanwhile, the Kano State Police Command confirmed the arrest of two prime suspects, Abdumalik and Hashim Isyaku, who demanded N6 million ransom for her release before she was killed.

News

#JusticeforHanifa: Prime suspect wept when he visited parents after abduction – Family member

 

A family member of a slain five-year-old girl, Hanifa Abubakar, has revealed that the prime suspect in the deceased’s death and abduction in Kano State was among the first set of people who sympathized with her parents after her disappearance.

The suspect, Abdulmalik Mohammed Tanko, the proprietor of Noble Kids Nursery and Primary school in Kano was arrested by the police for killing Hanifa alongside his accomplice, Hashim Isyaku.

Uncle of the deceased, Suraj Sulaiman, speaking with Daily Nigerian disclosed that Tanko shed tears when he visited Hanifa’s parents to console them over the abduction.

“He was full of tears when he visited the family to console them over the abduction,” Sulaiman said.

Recall that Hanifa was kidnapped on December 4th 2021 on her way home.

Her body was however recovered on Thursday in a shallow grave at a private school, Noble Kids Academy, at Kwanar Dakata, in the Nassarawa Local Government Area, Kano State.

The school teacher, alongside his accomplice, had demanded a N6m ransom for her release.

The case will be charged to court upon completion of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, has ordered the closure of the primary school till further notice.

News

Be innovative in your approach to teaching – Ag Oti Regional Education Director to teachers

The acting Director for Education in the Oti Region, Nana Kugbeadzor Bakatai II, has called on teachers to be more innovative in their approach to teaching in their various schools.

This is to improve the quality of education delivery in the region.

Nana Bakatai II made the remarks at a brief ceremony to launch the distribution of the Teachers Mate (TM1) laptops to Junior High School teachers in the region.

“The laptops are expected to be used by the teachers to improve their research work towards lesson planning and delivery in our schools,” she said.

Be innovative in your approach to teaching - Ag Oti Regional Education Director to teachers

The Oti Region has received 2,186 laptops. According to reports, a total of 2,249 laptops were to be provided.

The disparity in the figure, the acting Regional Director said was as a result of errors in data provided by some districts that could not be verified as of the time of distribution.

Meanwhile, Nana Kugbeadzor Bakatai II has urged that the laptops be distributed to the right beneficiaries.

“We don’t want any impersonation; nobody should sigh for or on behalf of any teacher. There should be enough evidence of every school and every teacher receiving their laptops,” she stressed.

Be innovative in your approach to teaching - Ag Oti Regional Education Director to teachers

The acting Director further encouraged teachers to inculcate the habit of maintenance to ensure the laptops last for a longer period of time.

“I believe the teachers would also utilize the laptops and maintain them properly, because, anything, no matter how strong they are if you don’t take good care of them, they won’t last.”

News

NEC is still deliberating on committee’s recommendations on fuel subsidy removal -Obaseki

 

Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, says the National Economic Council (NEC) is still deliberating on recommendations by the ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy removal.

 

The governor also added that recommendations “may have been made to President [Muhammadu Buhari]”.

 

Recall that the ad-hoc committee recommended full deregulation of PMS prices by February 2022 — raising the price by about N130/140 per litre to N302/litre.

 

Obaseki said this on Thursday at the end of the NEC’s meeting in Abuja.

 

The council’s meeting was chaired by Yemi Osinbajo, vice-president.

 

Giving his opinion at the end of the meeting, Obaseki pointed out that petroleum sells at a fair price compared to neighbouring countries, adding that the amount spent on subsidy could be channelled to other pressing needs such as infrastructure, education, healthcare.

 

According to him, the council wondered whether that should be allowed to continue in a situation where it observed only two-thirds of the states of the federation consume the subsidy.

 

 “As you all know and aware, the issue of subsidy has been one matter that NEC has deliberated on, for more than a year now,” Obaseki said.

 

“There was an ad-hoc committee, which was set up by NEC headed by Governor El-Rufai that included members of the executive arm of government that worked on recommendations as to what we should do about the costs of PMS locally because as you realise, as has been told us, the cost of PMS in Nigeria today is about N162 per litre.

 

“Whereas every other country surrounding Nigeria is selling the same product at more than 100% of the cost in Nigeria.

 

“As for NEC, the arguments remain. Should we continue this regime of spending money we do not have to subsidise the living standards of only mostly those who have vehicles? And when NEC looked at some of the analyses last year, we then realised that less than one-third of the states of this country consume two-thirds of the subsidy.

 

 “The issue of equity also came up. All of these findings were presented to NEC, and NEC has had several deliberations. And the deliberations are still ongoing. So, no, NEC has not come up with any decision yet. I think recommendations have also been made to the President. That is what I am aware has transpired so far.”

 

Obaseki further spoke on how the subsidy deductions have affected states and how it is surviving.

 

“Well, I’ll put it very succinctly. As at last year, NNPC was supposed to contribute N200 billion a month to FAAC for distribution to the states,” he added.

 

“But because of the payment of subsidy, NNPC was unable to put that money into FAAC for distribution, which means less money going to the States and less money going to the federal government.

 

On his part, Abdullahi Sule, governor of Nasarawa state, said it is understandable that the provision for the payment of the subsidy is made after the expiration of the 2022 budget in June as the committee set up for the matter is yet to decide.

 

“We didn’t make any presentations on this because there has not been a decision. But in reality, all of us Nigerians know that there is now the Petroleum Industry Act. NNPC has now become a limited liability company,” Sule said.

 

 “NNPC will run differently. So if the Minister of finance provides for six months before NNPC fully takes off, that’s when decisions will be made.

 

“But I want to make the correction that it is not governors who are making recommendations. It is NEC committee, you know, which comprises of all the other people that are looking at this and no decision has been made and probably by the time a decision will be made, you know, the Petroleum Industry Act would have fully taken charge, and it will not require any recommendation from anybody.”

News

Nigerians want Jonathan to return, says ex-commissioner

 

A former Commissioner for Education in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Moses Essien, has said Nigerians want ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to return as the country’s leader.

 

Essien, who is the National Coordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, said this in a statement on Thursday.

 

He said, “It often said that a good product sells itself, because it is attractive and so it naturally attracts patronage. That is what we are witnessing in the case of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

“Nigeria is standing on the brink of its unity and history. The country needs urgent rescue through a trustworthy, detribalised and sincere democratic leadership that rebuilds national confidence and faith in the country. That is what GEJ represents to this country.

 

 “When you look at it from this common national denominator, you will discover that it is not just enough to say the North, but every segment of this country is hungry and anxious to have their beloved GEJ back to power once again.”

 

Essien added that the former President stood for equity and justice, saying this was displayed during his time as the country’s leader.

 

Essien stated, “He was fair to all, and the North, in particular, was a huge beneficiary of GEJ’s inclusive governance. For instance, in the area of education, which is central, GEJ left indelible footprints in northern Nigeria as President.”

 

News

UTAG Strike: NPP won massive support from lecturers, but see how they’re now treating lecturers – Prof Gyampo

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has expressed concerns about the way the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is treating lecturers, despite enjoying their support in the 2016 general election.

In a nine point Facebook article on Thursday, he reiterated the stance of lecturers, and the need for government to swiftly address their demands. As part of his submissions, Professor Gyampo said based on his knowledge of a recent research, majority of lecturers across the country rallied behind the NPP in 2016, leading to the party’s victory against the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

According him, he therefore does not understand why lecturers are struggling under the same regime they helped to bring into power.

“In a recent study whose findings I am privy to, the current regime won massive support from lecturers in the election that got it to power. Out of the over 81 polling stations across public tertiary institutions, the party of the current regime won 69. But see how they are now treating lecturers? May this palpable sense of ingratitude to the cohort of citizenry, 78 percent of whom can be described as a base of the current regime, ginger lecturers to keep even more faith with this regime, even as its leaders strive to win more political souls to achieve the dream of breaking the 8”, Professor Gyampo stated.

Comparing the way lecturers are being treated in the current regime, the political science lecturer took a strong view on the threats to cut the salaries of lecturers if they do not return to the classroom. In his view, the threat will not augur well for the New Patriotic Party in their quest to break the eight year regime tenure cycle.

“We know how lecturers fighting for better Conditions of Service in 1995, under Jerry Rawlings (a semi-dictator) were handled, and we gladly will compare it to how we are currently being treated by a regime headed by a democrat, a good constitutional lawyer and a very much known human rights activist who has himself led demonstrations before. But, may the threat to cut salaries, demonstrate how serious the current government is, in its attempt to break the 8 year regime tenure cycle. May this threat end all meetings whose outcomes are inconsequential to UTAG’s demand for better Conditions of Service”, Professor Gyampo wrote.

On Monday, January 10, the University Teachers Association (UTAG), embarked on a nationwide strike, over poor conditions of service. According to the embattled lecturers, government has failed to honour its promises to them, despite series of meetings and negotiations, towards the improvement of their working conditions.

UTAG therefore stated that they will only return to the classroom, if all their concerns are addressed. But reacting to this, the National Labour Commission (NLC), described the moved by UTAG as illegal and urged the lecturers to resume work. The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) also added their voice to the call by NLC, and instructed UTAG to call of the industrial action.

However, in his Facebook post on Thursday, the Secretary of the University of Ghana branch of UTAG, Professor Gyampo disclosed that even though lecturers are not teaching, they are still performing other responsibilities.

“Lecturers teach, research and do extension activities. Teaching and Promotion are based preponderantly on research and it is our extension activities that contributes to the thinking and innovation resource base of the nation, as well as shapes the conduct of governance. In the current industrial action, only teaching has been withdrawn. All other duties are being performed. Yet a supposed independent arbiter has taken sides and clearly insinuating that salaries of lecturers be suspended, just because they are fighting for better Conditions of Service”, Professor Gyampo explained.

He also added that he and his colleagues are not happy about the strike, except that they can only resume their full responsibilities if government resolves their plights.

“If they have political strategists, let the competence of such individuals in the regime be judged by how quick they are able to push for a finality to be brought to this impasse. For, lecturers do not enjoy being on strike. We want to go back and teach, but under better Conditions of Service”, Professor Gyampo concluded.

News

VRA to turn Akosombo into an industrial hub under the Akosombo Smart City Project

The Volta River Authority (VRA) is set to kick start the Akosombo Smart City Project.

This is aimed at turning the Akosombo Municipality into an industrial hub.

The project which forms part of the energy-producing company’s innovation and revitalization agenda would not compromise the environmental friendly nature of the area.

Addressing stakeholders at the 2021 Communications Summit in Akosombo, the Deputy Chief Executive in Charge of Services at the VRA, Dr. Stella Agyenim-Boateng who read a speech on behalf of the VRA Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa said the project would see the establishment of industrial parks furnished with data centers.

She added that the parks would house global technological companies.

According to her, the first phase of the Akosombo Smart City Project would see the introduction of electric buses in the company’s transport fleet, which would ply the Akosombo-Akuse stretch.

“The Akosombo Smart City Project would employ the use of drone technological services to enhance routine environmental surveys, implementation of an integrated operational data from VRA’s generating station for effective decision-making in the selection of the most enhanced security systems for the Akosombo and Kpong dams and powerhouses”, she further indicated.

She explained that the intention to significantly digitize VRA’s internal business communication would lead to the implementation of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Project, the Data Centre Refresh Project, the Enterprise Resource Planning, and the Electronic and Records Management Systems.

Madam Agyenim-Boateng emphasized VRA’s commitment to championing sustainable energy solutions, maintaining its position as a market leader, and meeting the needs and expectations of consumers.

“Our commitment to maintaining leadership in the Energy Sector would also encompass our provision of reliable and accessible data information”, she stressed.

She also announced VRA’s intention to train personnel to enhance public education on her outfit’s operations.

News

We will continue to mount legitimate pressure for SALL injustice to be remedied – Ablakwa

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has assured of the Minority’s commitment to prioritize the concerns raised by Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) over the disenfranchisement of residents in the 2020 Parliamentary elections.

In a Facebook post, Mr Ablakwa said the Minority upon resumption of Parliament on January 25, will through legitimate means ensure the “injustice” is remedied.

“This shall remain central in the pursuit of our parliamentary obligations as it remains an unforgivable aberration for the 8th Parliament to exist in this current state of deformity.”

He called on residents of SALL to present their many concerns via social media platforms and other channels to reach the appropriate authorities.

“The issues could range from education, health, agriculture, unemployment, road infrastructure, security, etc. Additionally, arrangements are afoot to host town hall meetings across SALL communities in due course.

We pledge to give urgent and serious attention to your responses either by filing questions to Ministers, making statements on the floor or moving motions for action,” he said.

According to Mr Ablakwa, it is imperative for the Minority to fight harder for SALL’s fundamental right of representation to be respected.

He, however, noted that the interim measure of solidarity in Parliament to address SALL’s challenges does not constitute a substitute for their constitutional right to have their own duly elected MP.

But rather, “another layer of justifiable agitation which also serves as a constant reminder in the House of Parliament that we are still not fully and properly constituted.”

Meanwhile, public advocacy group, FixTheCountry Movement, is leading a petition for the removal of the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa and her two deputies; Dr Bossman Eric Asare and Samuel Tettey over SALL’s disenfranchisement.

The group argues that “the actions of the impugned officials if considered in context and in light of their preceding and subsequent conduct, meets the threshold of stated misbehaviour and, or incompetence as required under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution for the removal of these officials”.

Later in a circular, the group noted their petition has been acknowledged by the President and the Chief Justice accordingly.

News

IPR determined to build public trust and eradicate cynicism among Ghanaians

The Institute of Public Relations (IPR) is positioning itself to build up public trust and eradicate cynicism among the Ghanaian populace.

This will be done by ensuring its members who are the mouthpiece of private and public institutions only propagate the truth in any circumstance or situation to win the trust of the citizenry.

The President of IPR, Mawuko Afadzinu highlighted this when speaking to the media on the sideline of the 2021 Ghana Communications Summit in Akosombo.

This he said informed the selection of “Truth Well Told and Shared” as the theme for the summit.

“Our job as communicators and public relations practitioners primarily is around 3 things. Number one, we build relationships, number two, we establish relevance and number three, we manage reputation.”

“And our conversation today is how do we do this in an environment where there is growing cynicism, in an environment where trust has gone down? How do we lift it up? And we are saying that we are going to lift it up through continuous learning and by applying ourselves assiduously especially to the truth in all situations”, he explained.

On her part, Management & Communication Consultant, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, implored public relations practitioners to endeavor to protect the reputation of Ghana in all endeavors.

The Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Services at the Volta River Authority, Dr. Stella Agyenim-Boateng announced that her outfit’s intention is to train personnel and enhance advocacy and public education on her outfit’s operations.

The Deputy Information Minister, Fatima Abubakar, indicated that the practices of PR must be guided by a strategic mandate to build reliable and mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders.

Also, new and accredited members were inducted at the summit which brought together members of the Institute of Public Relations to brainstorm on how to improve on operations in the public relations sector and how to make it more efficient.

News

Covid-19: GHS to begin vaccinating SHS students

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has announced that it has resumed vaccination of Senior High School students across the country against COVID-19.

The Service said vaccination teams have been dispatched to schools to vaccinate students who have not yet been vaccinated.

In a press release dated January 20, the Service explained that there have been periodic outbreaks of Covid-19 in Senior High Schools hence the need for the exercise.

GHS revealed that they received approval from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to expand persons eligible for vaccination to include 15-year-olds and above.

This age, the GHS explained, covers students who are mostly in Senior High Schools. 

“The Ghana Health Service (GHS) working in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), commenced the vaccination of students who fall within the eligibility criteria, but the exercise had to be suspended during the vacation period. The students were however encouraged to get the vaccination in the communities where they live,” the GHS indicated.

“Students who have already been vaccinated are required to bring their vaccination cards to school for inspection,” they added.

Covid-19: GHS to begin vaccinating SHS students

The Ghana Health Service urged parents and all stakeholders to cooperate in making the vaccination exercise a success.

“We count on the continuous support of parents and guardians in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in our schools and communities,” GHS added.

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye has reavealed that nearly 35% of the Ghanaian population, representing 6,951,968 persons have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Addressing the press on COVID-19 policy updates on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, he said the 34.8% who have received at least one dose form part of the government’s target 20million vaccinated Ghanaians.

The number of persons fully vaccinated are 3,229,995 which represents 16.1% of the Ghanaian population.

News

Josephine Ohene-Boateng launches ‘Josephine and Jesus Award Fund’ for alma mater, KETASCO

The Keta Senior High Technical School in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region continues to enjoy its fruits of labour following a spectacular performance at the 2021 National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) competition.

In a bid to push the school to achieve improved academic excellence, an old student and In Charge of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability of the Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited, Josephine Ohene-Boateng, has launched the ‘Josephine and Jesus Award Fund’ to cushion brilliant but needy students. 

Keta Senior High Technical School shot to fame following its excellent performance at the 2021 National Science and Maths Quiz competition, emerging as the second runner up. 

The performance of the contestants wowed many since they were not identified as favorites at the start of the competition. 

Madam Ohene-Boateng, is hoping this legacy lives on, where the school would witness improved academic achievements, hence the introduction of the award scheme. 

She explained that 3 students from each form would be selected by a committe which will be set up by the school for the awards, “in effect 9 studengs will receive packages to support their education every academic year”. 

This she believes would help lessen or outwit the challenges the beneficiary students would face during their second cycle academic journey. 

Madam Ohene-Boateng who hopes the scheme would be expanded to cater for more students in the near future, advised the students to to take their academic activities seriously and desist from procrastination. 

The Headmaster of the Keta Senior High Technical School, Isaac Dzidzienyo appreciated the efforts of Madam Ohene-Boateng to contribute improve the standard of education in the area.

He expressed optimism the award scheme would contribute “unearth talents” in the school. 

The Keta Municipal Chief Executive, Emmanuel Gemegah, urged the students to study hard to merit the awards, and illustrated how award schemes had helped shape the lives of deserving students. 

He also announced plans by some KETASCO old students to construct a well-furnished ICT block for the school, to enhance study of the course, since it has become a requirement in the job market. 

News

Multi-stakeholder corporation required to eliminate child labour – Cocoa expert

These children have become a part of the labour force that produces the cocoa for your hot chocolate

Cocoa Value Chain Analyst, Eliseus Opoku-Boamah says Ghana needs a supportive attitude rather than a punitive approach to eliminate child labour on cocoa farms.

He mentioned that child laMulti – a stakeholder corporation required to eliminate child labour and hazardous work within the Ghanaian cocoa value chain remain a challenge. 

“Players in the sector are aiming at ensuring responsible cocoa sourcing and seeking to set up an effective Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) which is supportive approach, and that’s one of the best strategies to tackle child labour in our cocoa-growing regions,” he said.

The cocoa expert made these observations in an interview with this reporter on Ghana’s cocoa sector and how we can root out child labour on cocoa farms across the country. 

Mr Opoku-Boamah recommended that resources be directed towards building capacity and setting up the necessary robust Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems to identify, prevent, and monitor child labour in the cocoa supply chain.

“There is the need to coordinate the various existing sustainability initiatives that seek to address the issues and challenges of Child Labour within the cocoa supply chain and draw meaningful and practical lessons and experiences for implementation,” he mentioned.

He suggested that stakeholders conduct risk assessment research to assess the level of risk in cocoa farming households and prioritise communities where the risk is high.

“The need to support community-based investments and development programs to address the root causes of human rights issues in areas of women empowerment, education and income.

“The need for training and awareness creation to increase the knowledge on the concept of CLMRS and regular household and community follow up visits is vital. I know that some NGO’s and organizations have done and are still doing some work on Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems.”

He indicated that governments have shown some commitment to the fight against child labour in the cocoa value chain, but it’s not enough. 

“It requires a multi-stakeholder partnership approach; where government and its relevant ministries and agencies including law enforcement agencies partner with players in the cocoa sector and chocolate industry at both local and international level to help in this fight against child labour and hazardous work within the Ghanaian cocoa value chain,” he said. 

News

IEPA joins UNESCO Educational Centres worldwide to celebrate International Day of Education 2022

The Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), a UNESCO Category II Centre for West Africa, located at the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast – Ghana, joins other UNESCO Educational Centres to celebrate the “International Day of Education 2022”. 

This year’s celebrations, the fourth to be celebrated since the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution for its celebration on 3rd December 2018, is being observed under the theme, “Changing Course, Transforming Education”.

The theme is aptly chosen to drive home the commitment of UN member countries when it adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 and pledged to recognize the essential role of education for the success of all the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

At IEPA, SDG 4, which is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, is at the heart of its operations.  

Director-General of IEPA, Dr Michael Boakye-Yiadom noted that “IEPA’s key mandate is to train educational leaders, planners and administrators as well as provide policy advice, backed by research, to governments in the West African sub-region on educational sector planning. 

“We, therefore, see the celebration of International Day of Education as a very important day to discuss opportunities and challenges facing West African nations in meeting the implementation of the SDG4.  Education in a COVID-19 era has taken on a new dimension and it behoves all leaders in education to deliver inclusive and quality education as we live with COVID-19”. 

It is important to note that the right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, further goes to stipulate that, countries shall make higher education accessible to all. 

Speaking to the Head of Communications and Public Relations at IEPA Nana Efua Rockson, she explains that IEPA is celebrating the day by sensitizing their immediate communities, through the power of media, on the role of education to transform lives.

It also plans to hold a forum at the Imam Khomeini Islamic School at Amamoma (a community around the University of Cape Coast) to empower and sensitize the Junior High Students on the need to take their studies seriously as education is the key to changing the course of their future.

It is instructive to note that, aside from IEPA providing educational research and technically advising governments in West Africa on educational sector planning, it also mounts Masters and PhD programmes in Educational Leadership, Planning and Administration to build excellent leaders at all levels of the educational ladder towards the attainment of SDG 4.   

Entertainment News

Actor Muyideen Oladapo bags second degree from UNILAG

 

Nollywood actor, Muyideen Oladapo, has bagged his second degree from the University of Lagos.

The actor, known for his roles in Yoruba movies, shared pictures from the convocation ceremony on his Instagram page on Thursday.

According to him, the ‘rare oppportunity’ of attaining his new educational qualification was a dream come true, as he appreciated God for his attainment.

“I am sincerely grateful to the Almighty for this rare privilege. I have always had a burning passion for attaining a greater height in education from my tender age and I thank God I achieved the dream despite fame and other engagements,” he said.

Lala, as he is famously called, noted that he would not relent in attaining the highest level of education, noting that he had a lot of distrations yet he could attain another degree.

Oladapo said, “This is a stepping stone for me to greater achievements because I am not relenting because I want to attain the highest level of education.

“I am grateful to God for the success of my second-degree education. It took me concerted effort in achieving this because there were lots of distractions, but I bless Allah that it eventually became a success.”

News

Urbanus Azupogo: Towards pro-environmentalism; human behaviour theories in environmental preservation

Insatiable human wants have motivated people to invent survival and adaptation strategies for centuries. Unfortunately, several of these strategies have harmed the immediate environment.

Consumer choices and corporate activities are increasingly causing environmental hazards and challenges. Environmental sustainability is intrinsically linked to the health of the global economy and human population.

This means that understanding the patterns, relationships, systems, and core causes of environmental hazards is now more critical than ever. Environmental education is a powerful instrument for preventing the escalating issues of the 21st century. Understanding and applying behavioral models and theories is one technique that can help achieve this goal.

Changing existing practices in organizations, services, and systems requires individual, and group behavior changes. To change behavior, one must first understand its context (Atkins et al., 2017). Behavioral theories explicitly define the structural and psychological mechanisms hypothesized to regulate behavior and behavior change, making them essential for examining implementation issues and informing implementation strategies.

Several behavioral change models have been developed over the last 40 years that identify individuals’ beliefs, attitudes, and values as determinants of behavior, according to Hargreaves (2011).

Pro-environmental behavior is defined as conscious acts taken by a person to reduce the negative influence of human activities on the environment or improve the environment’s quality (Jensen, 2002; Lee et al., 2013). As shown by Hargreaves (2011, p.81), “if only pro- or anti-environmental attitudes could be found and corrected, the models suggest, the behavior could be changed.”

As a result, behavioral models designed to change behavior concerning the environment must first identify the ideas, attitudes, and values that underpin illogical actions (motivations and intentions for such acts), considering the diverse demographics found in every community.

Understanding demographics’ behavior (motivations and intentions) is critical to establishing effective behavior modification strategies. Integration of various behavioral and environmental theories could be pretty beneficial in solving present environmental challenges. The models and theories discussed in this study include the following: Theory of Planned Behavior, Self-determination theory (SDT), and Social Cognitive Theory (SCT).

  1. Theory of Planned Behavior

The Planned Behavior Theory (Ajzen, 2002, 2015) emphasizes intention to act and objective situational circumstance as direct causes of pro-environmental behavior. Action skills and knowledge of action strategies and issues are part of the intention (locus of control, attitudes, and personal responsibility).

The Planned Behavior Theory evolved from the Theory of Reasoned Action. It proposes that three belief constructions drive human behavior. The key tenet of the theory is that links between influences on behavior and their effects are recorded by one of the model’s components or relationships. This model is helpful in this study because it explains how information, attitude, behavioral intention, and actual behavior influence Pro-environmentalism.

Social and demographic factors such as socioeconomic status and values are assumed to affect attitudes and perceived behavioral control indirectly. For example, strengthened biospheric values may result in a favorable attitude towards cycling and a negative attitude towards driving, as these values focus on the environmental impact of actions. Rural residents may also be less likely than urban residents to take the bus due to poor public transportation services.

The TPB has successfully explained numerous environmental behaviors such as not driving, using unbleached paper, reducing meat consumption, and using energy-saving light bulbs (Bamberg and Schmidt 2003; Harland et al. 1999). Predictive factors included attitudes and perceived behavioral control. When combined with other motivational predictors, the TPB’s predictive power increases significantly. Personal norms, for example, predict pro-environmental intentions and behaviors beyond TPB factors (Bamberg and Schmidt 2003).

  • Self-determination theory (SDT)

Self-determination theory (SDT) is a theory of human motivation, development, and well-being based on research (Deci & Ryan, 2008). SDT focuses on essential issues like personality development, self-regulation, universal physiological needs, life goals and aspirations, energy and vitality, nonconscious processes, the relationship between culture and motivation, and the impact of the social environment on motivation and well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2008, pp.182). Díaz et al. (1990) say that when people internalize, they become more accessible and better control their behavior. This means that when someone internalizes their motivation, they can act on their own based on their motivations.

Moreover, when these internalized motivations are pro-environmental, like “do not liter,” a Pro-environmental behavior is born. They believe this promotes pro-environmental behavior and sustainable consumption of environmental resources. However, Osbaldiston & Sheldon (2003) argues that most human behaviors, including pro-environmental behaviors, are not intrinsically motivated. Hence, interventions to promote pro-environmental behavior should develop intrinsic and internalized motivations.

The internalization of behavior would significantly promote pro-environmental behavior and sustainable consumption of environmental resources. When used with TPB, SDT can promote self-determined motivation since the evidence is available (See Darner, 2009; Green-Demers et al., 1997; Séguin et al., 1999) indicates that a variety of pro-environmental behaviors correlate most highly with self-determined motivation. When pro-environmental behaviors become more externally regulated, they become less frequent; hence, SDT can reveal how certain values or norms can be internalized to promote Pro-environmentalism.

The whole idea of using SDT to promote pro-environmental behaviors is that “when people understand which behaviors are pro-environmental, why they should engage in those behaviors, and how to engage in those behaviors, they feel more competent about the environment and are more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviors” (De Young, 2000).

  • Social Cognitive Theory Perspective

The social cognitive theory explains how people work, explained by a model of triadic reciprocity components (cognitive and other personal characteristics such as emotional moods and physical qualities, external environmental impacts, and overt conduct) that influence one another bi-directionally triadic reciprocal causation paradigm. The self-efficacy mechanism plays a big part in SCT. Bandura says that people act based on what they think they can do and how it will affect them (Bandura, 1982) (Internalized motivation).

The reciprocal interactions between personal factors, the environment, and behaviors do not work simultaneously. A sense that people will be successful when they reach their goals motivates them during the goal-setting process and affects how they make career decisions. In environmental psychology, self-efficacy is how someone thinks he or she can make a positive change in the environment.

If people do not think they can do something, no matter how good the reward is, they will not do it and will not keep going when things get complicated. A study by Bandura (1997) shows that people who do not believe they can do something are more likely to be dissatisfied with themselves and their work, making them less interested in a task. In environmental psychology, self-efficacy is how someone thinks he or she can make a positive change in the environment.

For example, Meinhold and Markus (2005) found that perceived self-efficacy was a good way to predict environmental behaviors. When SCT is used in environmental psychology, it says that people who have positive contextual conditions and high environmental self-efficacy judgments will have more outcome expectations and set more difficult goals, and they will also be more likely to do things that are good for the environment than people who do not think they can do that.

Conclusion

There is no best fit method to understand and cause behavior change. Hence, social scientists can use one or more behavior change techniques. Each technique is unique and offers various tools to understand or cause a behavior change to a particular demographic set. The TPB has been beneficial in environmental activism.

TPB assumes that behavior is the product of purpose. Having a good attitude towards the appropriate behavior, supporting subjective standards, and feeling in control of the behavior increases the likelihood of environmental intents and behaviors.  TPB focuses on attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control (PBC) involved in decision-making, determining intention formation and behavioral enactment (Carfora et al., 2017).

Promoting pro-environmentalism using SCT is a brilliant idea! SCT predicts that people with high environmental self-efficacy will have greater expectations, set more ambitious goals, and do more for the environment than those who do not feel they can. SDT focuses on motivation and its impact on demographics (Deci & Ryan, 2008). In addition, the SDT explains how individuals might internalize environmental values.

SDT is crucial to both theories because it helps researchers internalize motivations and pro-environmental values in people. Internalization of behavior would considerably increase environmental stewardship and sustainable resource use. A combination of TPB and SDT or SCT and SDT might be utilised depending on the purpose of a pro environmental intervention.

The author, Urbanus W. Azupogo is a teaching and research assistant at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
28 Division Street, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6.

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