Browsing Tag

Students

News

At least 15 dead in Texas primary school shooting

Fourteen students and one teacher are dead following a shooting at an elementary school in Texas.

According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the gunman was an 18-year-old male who lived in the area. The shooting took place in the town of Uvalde, about 83 miles (133km) from San Antonio, America’s seventh largest city.

Mr Abbott said that the shooter used a handgun and possibly a rifle during the shooting, although that is not yet confirmed.

He was shot dead, it’s thought by police. Two officers were also hit during the exchange of gunfire but were not seriously injured.

A news conference with more details is expected shortly. Stay here for all the details.

News

16-year-old girl stabbed to death in a fight over alleged boyfriend

A 16-year-old student of the Nkwadum D/A Junior High School in the Akontombra District of the Western North region has allegedly been stabbed to death by a schoolmate.

The victim, Akua Kumah and the suspect, Francisca Hayford are reported to have been fighting over a boy.

Confirming the news to Adom News, Assemblyman for Nkwadum Electoral area, Isaac Etsie said the incident occurred when the students had a misunderstanding after they closed from school on Monday.

“I was informed on Monday evening that two students were having a fight and during the fisticuffs the 15-year-old in JHS 2 stabbed the 16-year-old in JHS 3 in the breast,” he told Adom News’ Augustine Boah.

A Physician Assistant at the Sefwi Nsawora Health Centre, Charles Kwabena Amoako, also said that the victim was brought in dead.

He disclosed that the victim was stabbed in the chest, causing her to bleed to death.

Meanwhile, the deceased has been deposited at the Sefwi-Wiawso Government Hospital for autopsy.

However, the suspect is in police custody at Sefwi-Akontombra assisting with investigations.

News

Old Mutual celebrates 177th anniversary globally; 10 years in Ghana

Old Mutual Group, a pan-African investment, savings, insurance, and banking group, is celebrating its 177 years of operation globally with the Ghanaian unit also marking its 10th anniversary.

The Ghana unit, which provides insurance and pensions services, has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative insurance and pensions products and services in the country while showing the way when it comes to diversity in the workplace and leveraging technology for business growth.

Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Ghana, Tavona Biza, said having operated in Africa for over 176 years, the Old Mutual brand has made a mark as an outstanding and caring brand strongly known for its integrity, sound corporate governance and its contribution towards Africa’s socio-economic development. 

“Old Mutual Ghana provides life insurance and pensions solutions to its customers. We offer the best life insurance packages for corporate organizations and help individuals achieve their lifetime financial goals. Old Mutual Ghana is currently made up of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited and Old Mutual Pensions Trust Company Limited,” he added.

Touching on the company’s achievements and technological advances in Ghana over the past 10 years, Mr. Biza said; “Old Mutual has a strong customer-led approach to our technology strategy. We have made investments in embedding security, ensuring our systems are always on, the simplification and modernization of our technology, ensuring our skills keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape and striving for a culture of innovation.”

He added that the company has also introduced a number of revolutionary products and services into the market, chief amongst them is the Old Mutual Retirement Salary Plan, which is designed to provide a steady cash flow – a retirement salary – for people during their retirement years and to alleviate the fears of outliving their savings. “We stand as the first insurance company to bring out this product,” Mr. Biza stated proudly.

Old Mutual Ghana, he added, as part of its digital strategies to be an innovative business, launched an automated WhatsApp chatbot to handle all customer queries and enquiries.

Diversity and inclusion

With 450 staff across nine locations in the country, Mr. Biza touched on the company’s diverse and inclusive structure which has led to 70 percent of its leadership being women, which is higher than corporate Ghana’s average.  

“We will continue to drive diversity and inclusion, innovate around product and customer solutions, attract and retain best talents in the market, impacting the Ghanaian market through financial education programmes and investing in technology,” he said as he nods towards a brighter future for the business.

Marking the historic milestone

Rita Adu Boateng, Customer Experience & Marketing Executive at Old Mutual Ghana explained that Old Mutual Ghana, as part of the celebrations in Ghana, will be interacting with the media to share the brand’s rich heritage and experience in the financial service space; embark on a comprehensive financial education in some selected senior high schools, donate items to students after the financial education programme and top it all off with an interactive session with employees on the brand’s 177 years.

Financial Education

Old Mutual ‘On The Money’ is a Financial Education programme which encourages people to change their financial behaviour and to understand money-related issues and new skills to help maintain positive financial behaviour. With its well-run digital campaign, the financial education programme has reached over 300,000 persons on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The campaign led to Old Mutual winning the Best Marketing Campaign of the Year at the 4th Ghana Insurance Awards.

Social investment during COVID-19

Old Mutual, during the most difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been very active in supporting communities and institutions at the frontline. The company donated GH¢150,000 worth of surgical gloves and nose masks to three hospitals in Accra and Kumasi.

“We distributed 1,750 branded nose masks in some parts of Accra (Dansoman, Kaneshie First light, Korle Bu junction, Osu Oxford, Gold House runabout and Accra mall) and customers who visit any of our branches

We partnered with Vine Christian High on their online E-Learning platform during this COVID-19 pandemic for all customers (for Grade 7 & 8 / JHS1 / 2 students) and rewarded the best five students with cash prizes and branded Old Mutual souvenirs. GH¢1,200 Education policy was given to the overall best performing student,” Ms. Boateng added.

As a digitally inclined brand, Old Mutual was and continues to be very active with social media campaign on how to keep financial stability and impact in the COVID-19 pandemic. “Covid saw an introduction of our hybrid system where employees both work from home and the office intermittently. The introduction of the telesales unit which helped in reaching customers through sales during the lockdown period,” she added.

Old Mutual Ghana

Old Mutual Ghana is Ghana’s top 10 leading financial institution with an innovative record in offering the best in insurance services to its clients. Founded in South Africa, Old Mutual has been consistent in championing mutually positive futures by offering excellent financial services to a wide range of customers across the African continent.

The company established a branch in Ghana in 2013. It operates with skilled knowledge of the Ghanaian market backed by the expertise of an international brand. In Ghana, the company is currently made up of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited and Old Mutual Pensions Trust.

News

ASUU strike: EKSU resumes academic activities

Ekiti State University in Ado-Ekiti (EKSU) has announced that academic activities would resume on Tuesday, May 24.

Bode Olofinmuagun, Director of Information and Corporate Affairs issued a statement to that effect on Monday.

The decision to resume was taken at a meeting on Monday

Olofinmuagun disclosed that it discussed the impact of the ongoing strike by all the four staff unions.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced an industrial action since February.

EKSU’s spokesman said the management was concerned about the pains experienced by students and parents.

He explained that one academic session (2021/2022) of admission is still outstanding, while the 2020/2021 second semester is yet to be concluded.

“Moreover, the admission process for the 2022/2023 academic session will commence soonest,” he said.

The statement added that the school management decided to reopen in the interest of students, parents, guardians, society and its survival.

News Politics

Only five APC presidential aspirants are serious — Fayemi

 

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has said there are more pretenders in the race for the presidential ticket of the APC than contenders.

He said out of the 23 persons currently in the race, only about five of them are serious in the quest to clinch the ticket of the ruling party.

He did not, however, name the five aspirants.

Mr Fayemi said this while soliciting the support of the delegates from Niger State during a visit to the state on Sunday.

The APC presidential primary election will hold on May 29 and 30. The party is yet to decide on the date for screening of the presidential aspirants, after postponing the exercise indefinitely.

In a statement released by the spokesperson of the Fayemi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Ige, the Ekiti State governor said the level of seriousness is determined by the ability of the aspirants to move across the country.

“This is a season of visits and states keep receiving us. The list of presidential aspirants says there are 23 but only five of us are going around the country. With this, you can separate the pretenders from the contenders,” he said.

While 25 aspirants returned their nomination forms, very few of the aspirants have been moving around the country. Some of the aspirants who have been visiting states include the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Mr Fayemi.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and the President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adeshina, have all opted out of the race.

Speaking to the delegates, Mr Fayemi asked the delegates to take a bet on him, as he promised to remake Nigeria without unmaking it.

“I am ready for the job. I want you to take a bet on me and you will have no cause to regret. I can remake Nigeria without unmaking it. I believe in Project Nigeria and that Nigeria is worth fighting for and together we can regain the lost glory of Nigeria”, he said.

He promised to tackle the insecurity currently ravaging the country.

Niger State is one of the states currently battling banditry and has experienced multiple mass abductions in the last three years.

Last year, several students were abducted in Tegina, a community in Rafi Local Government of the state. Earlier in the year, the governor of the state, Sani Bello, raised the alarm that at least 220 people have been either killed or kidnapped in attacks on about 300 communities in Niger State this year.

Receiving Mr Fayemi in his office in Minna, Mr Bello described the Ekiti State governor as a friend of the State, noting that if he was in a position to appoint someone president, he would pick Mr Fayemi.

Mr Bello said: “You have been here at least three or four times before now. You have been a close friend to Niger state. It is not now that there is a need for support that people are coming.

“Only five or six people have been to the state but you can count on my support. If you become president, I will relax because I know I will have easy access to you. In fact, if I have my way I will appoint you as the next President after President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Mr Fayemi, who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, has been focusing his campaign on security and on several occasions referred to his educational background in war studies.

News

2023: Nigerian students storm APC secretariat, vow to shut down airports

Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, South West Zone D, on Monday, stormed the National Secretariat of All Progressives Congress, APC, Abuja, to protest against a petition and call by a group to disqualify the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun from running for the second term in office.

According to the protesters, a group had called for the prosecution and disqualification of the governor from contesting for a second term in office.

The students also vowed that they would not relent in the ongoing nationwide protest against the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), noting that the next phase of the protest would target the shutdown of airports and other sources of the Federal Government revenue until the strike is called off.

They also called on the Federal Government, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to ensure diligent prosecution of the arrested Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Recall that Idris was arrested by EFCC in connection with the alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80 billion.

The students who were led by the NANS South West Coordinator, Comrade Adegboye Olatunji, and Chairman of NANS Ogun Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Comrade Kehinde Damilola Simeon, during the protest, asked APC leadership to clear Governor Abiodun to contest for re-election as Ogun State Governor.

The protesters wielded placards of various inscriptions saying the governor prioritized education in the state.

NANS South West Coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji, told newsmen that the students were led by their leaders to APC Secretariat to present their position to the leadership of APC and to dissociate themselves from the recently “sponsored and ill-motivated” protest against Dapo Abiodun.

“We call on the leadership of the All Progressive Congress to discountenance their frivolous petition and trash it because to us as students leaders of South West, they are an illegitimate group.

“May we equally use this opportunity to pass a vote of confidence on Prince Dr Dapo Abiodun, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, for his commitment and sacrifices towards education development in the State,” Olatunji said.

Speaking on the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Chairman of NANS Ogun JCC, Comrade Kehinde Damilola Simeon, called on the Federal Government to look into the plight of the lecturers and by extension the students who bear the brunt of the strike with the view to acceding to the demands of the Union.

He warned that the students would not relent in the ongoing protest until the strike is called off for campuses to be reopened to students, saying the South West students only broke from the nationwide protest to come on solidarity protest at the APC Secretariat.

He said: “We have been the ones at the forefront of protest against the strike by ASUU in the South West starting with the blockade of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Ijabu Ode-Ore road that was done last week.

“We have been leading the agitation that the Federal Government listens to the plight of ASUU. Our coming here today does not mean that we have sheathed our swords in the aspect of fighting for the rights of our lecturers and by extension, the generality of the Nigerian students. ASUU is asking for what is their right,” he said.

On the arrest of Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, by EFCC, he said it was quite unfortunate and “a slap on the dignity of Nigeria as a nation when some lecturers are on strike for demands that are not even up to half of the money that one person is embezzling”.

Simeon said, “It’s high time the Federal Government takes up their responsibility and does what is right by using some of these people as examples to serve as a deterrent to others.

“The educational sector is suffering and UNESCO recommended that 26% of every nation’s budget should be spent on education but we are not near this in Nigeria.

“I can assure you that we will be back on the streets as soon as possible until our voices are heard and the Federal Government does the needful, we won’t relent. We are planning to see that all sources of revenue to the government, including Federal Government properties like airports will be shut down soon”.

News Politics

2023: Osinbajo’s campaign visit to Zamfara insensitive – PDP

The Zamfara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that recent visit of the Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo to the State ahead of the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential primary was not justified.

This was disclosed to newsmen on Sunday by the State PDP deputy chairman, Prof. Kabiru Jabaka.

“Since all these killings in the State, the Vice President has not paid any condolence visit to commiserate with the people of the State and the relations of those affected by banditry activities in the State, but because of his presidential ambition, he rushed to the State.

“We cannot clap for him because he said that he discussed important issues with the leaders of the APC in the State for a way forward. The Vice President’s visit to the State at this critical moment where banditry has been the order of the day in the State is uncalled for.

“I expected him to visit the State and commiserate with us and not to visit the State for his presidential aspiration, because when we were in trouble, he pretended as if he did not know what was happening in Zamfara State,” he said.

According to Jabaka, over 20,000 Zamfara State secondary school students will not write their WAEC examination this year due to the insurgency that had become uncontrollable, pointing out that the visits of the Vice President to the State has no benefit to the entire people of the State.

“Zamfara state government could not settle over N1.2 billion WAEC and NECO examinations fees for our children this year and the issue of insecurity has become widespread across the State.

“It is surprising that at this critical moment, they used our resources to receive the Vice President for his presidential ambition.

The Vice President was in Zamfara State on Saturday where he held series of meetings with traditional rulers, APC State delegates and Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle behind closed-doors.

News

Stanford Seed Transformation Network launches updated business directory to support economic growth

The Stanford Seed Transformation Network Ghana, has launched its updated business directory to enable individuals and businesses to access a vast catalogue of member companies spread over 16 sectors of the economy.

In her remarks about the directory during the launch, Linda Yaa Ampah, President of the Stanford Seed Transformation Network, Ghana and Founder of Cadling Fashions and KAD Manufacturing Ltd, said the directory will enable users to access member companies’ profiles and catalogue of services all in one place.

“We recognize the importance of making information readily available to members and the Ghanaian business community without any limitation. The directory allows users to access the contact details of the members of the Network,” she added.

STN Ghana will constantly update the directory with new information when new members are inducted into the Network.

As part of the Network’s community impact initiative, three students were also awarded full scholarships during the event under the Network’s scholarship fund to pursue higher education at the University of Ghana, the University of Professional Studies and the Ho Technical University.

The beneficiaries will have their school fees, accommodation fees and other related costs paid in full by the Network until they complete their studies.

Stanford Seed Transformation Network launches updated business directory to support economic growth

The scholarship scheme was launched last year to help students requiring support pursue tertiary level education. It will be expanded across other various Universities in Ghana over the coming years.

Reverend Sammy Adjepong, the Chair of the scholarship committee of the Network, was supported by Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative to Ghana to present the scholarship to the beneficiaries. Reverened Adjepong, reaffirmed the Network’s commitment to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of life-long learning opportunities in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4.

He, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunities presented and focus on their studies to reach their full potential.

“With this scholarship, I will have a sound mind to study Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource & Psychology at the University of Ghana to achieve my dream of becoming one of Ghana’s best Human Resource professionalsl. I feel privileged because I come from a home that wouldn’t have been able to grant me this opportunity,” Ms. Ologo stated.

“This is a great opportunity to become good and useful citizen in the future,” she added echoing the sentiments of the other awardees.

The event was used to highlight the positive impact member companies are making in their communities.

News

Kwame Alorvi: The dying embers of education in Ghana

SUMMARY

  1. Many GES Headquarters Directors, including the Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng, have retired, but they remain at post.
  2. Of the 16 regional directors, as many as 11 have retired but are still on post.
  3. As many as nine, and still counting, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Directors that retired are also retained at post.
  4. Meanwhile, about 75 officials promoted to Director 2 rank in 2020 are still at their old stations awaiting posting. They have been on their old salaries for two years now, despite their promotion.
  5. The choking of the system by these retired directors has brought morale among teachers to rock bottom.
  6. The Hon. Minister of Education should take steps to ensure that these retired directors hand over to those promoted to ensure fairness.
  7. The teacher unions should step in to ensure that the welfare of their teachers is not sacrificed on the altar of a decaying system.

INTRODUCTION
The neglect of basic school education in Ghana in recent times has left the basic education infrastructure in disrepair. Lack of textbooks, three years after the launch of a new curriculum, (the Minister, Hon. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says he needs three more years to be able to supply the textbooks in 2024), and non-release of capitation grants for many years, have further compounded the problem in basic schools.

In the senior high schools, inadequate infrastructure resulting in double tracking, a shortage of food to feed students, and government indebtedness to schools have negatively impacted teaching and learning.

A decaying management system right from the GES Headquarters, to the Regional, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directorates, with many retired directors still hanging on to their positions, is increasingly becoming incapable of giving Ghanaians hope, and we are beginning to see the dying embers of our education. The fire is smouldering with smoke but no flame. In no time, the embers will extinguish, leaving in place a huge mound of ashes; the death of our education.

MANAGEMENT DECAY

Since 2018, a new phenomenon has been birthed and nurtured that ensures that GES officers who have retired compulsorily at age sixty, remain at post, thus blocking the chances of junior ranks from rising up the professional and administrative ladder.

HEADQUARTERS
Conspicuously guilty of this refusal to bow after retirement is my friend, the Ashanti Effiduase-born Deputy Director General (DDG) of the GES in charge of Management Services, Mr. Anthony Boateng. The official compulsory retirement date of Mr. Boateng was August 16, 2020, but he has still been at post ever since.

Many people believed, though, that his date of birth might have been altered to allow him to remain in the service longer than permissible. Most of his classmates had long since retired from active service.

Indeed, Mr. Boateng was one year my senior at UCC and I went on compulsory retirement six years ago!
Reports from my field officers also name the following GES Headquarters officials as being at post but on compulsory retirement:

  1. The Guidance and counseling coordinator, one Ivy.
  2. Patty Assan, Director in Charge of Schools and Instructions
  3. Bernice Addea, Director of Special Education

REGIONAL DIRECTORATES

Reports gathered by our field officers reveal that as many as eleven out of the sixteen Regional Directors have retired but have been signed on by Mr. Anthony Boateng to remain at post. Leading these regions are Ashanti, Central, Greater Accra and Northern.

The field officers are monitoring if my sister, the Volta Regional Director, who recently retired, will also be allowed to remain at post with her colleagues.

In effect, the retired Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng, has refused to give way to allow other directors to be interviewed for his position. Instead, he has formed an Esteem Club of Retired Directors, of which he has become the Life President.

“What new retirees only need to do is just apply and pay their “membership registration fees” to Mr. Anthony Boateng, and they are good to go,” lamented one promoted director waiting for posting. Another, speaking with pain, said, “District Directors are qualified, yet the retired officers continue to ask for more years and they are given, because the DDG himself has refused to go.”

Before Mr. Anthony Boateng’s retirement, or rather delayed retirement, directors who retired were given marching orders by Mr. Boateng to submit themselves to audit and hand over.

The North East Regional Director was alleged to have been hounded out of office by Mr. Anthony Boateng, even before her retirement date was due.

What has changed now is the fact that, having entrenched himself in his position after compulsory retirement, the Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng has lost any moral right to order retired directors to hand over.

The MMD Directorates

Having watched with keen interest how their bosses are breaking the rules, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directors of Education have also joined the Esteem Club of Retired Directors, headed by Mr. Anthony Boateng. After all, what is good for the crocodile, must equally be good for the frog, because they are both amphibians. Our findings are that, as many as nine retired Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Directors (and still counting), have been given the approval by Mr. Anthony Boateng to remain at post.
Meanwhile, about 75 officers promoted to Director 2 positions in 2020, are still on their old salaries awaiting posting. What a decadent system! Our team learnt that two such directors awaiting posting have since passed on. No promotion letters have been issued to them since 2020. Our field officers chanced upon a bizarre and discriminatory situation where some of the waiting directors close to Mr. Boateng, and some influential ruling party officials, MPs, and Ministers, are allegedly being processed by the GES and are being paid Director 2 grade salaries for over two years now.

A case was cited of one promoted Director 2 in the Central Region awaiting posting, just like his colleagues in the 75 group, who received salaries for many years as the Gomoa West (Apam) Director of Education, while there was a substantive Director at post in Apam. How can one district have two Directors of Education? Our field officers learnt that Director (name withheld) has recently been posted to Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District in the Central Region as Director.

Why were the remaining waiting directors not put on a director’s salary as was done to the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Director before his posting?

I must state that I am not entirely against the re-engagement of retired officers when special skills and proven commitment are required to address a specific and peculiar problem. What I am troubled about is the wholesale misapplication of the rule for parochial and partisan interests.

How can eleven regional directorates, including those in Greater Accra, the Central, Northern and Ashanti Regions, be so special as to warrant the retention of the retired directors? What peculiar problems are there to solve which other directors cannot solve?
Before such directors assumed duty, how were the directorates administered? Before Mr. Anthony Boateng’s appointment, had there not been Deputy Directors General in charge of Management Services?

EFFECT OF RETIRED DIRECTORS STILL AT POST

  1. Morale among directors awaiting posting is at rock bottom. GES operates with a rule that officials appointed as headmasters and directors must be able to serve for four years before retirement. All officials with less than four years prior to retirement are not even considered for interview, much less for promotion. Most of the Directors awaiting posting are in their mid fifties. The effect of keeping retired Directors at post while those promoted wait for over two years is that, when the GES decides to post them, they will not have the minimum of four years to serve before compulsory retirement. GES will thus not post them. The GES, which has created the problem by choking the pipeline with retired Directors, will disqualify them. What an injustice!
  2. The affected officers will be marking time in their former grade and be overtaken by younger junior officers, who then become their superiors.
  3. The non posted directors will also retire from their former lower grades and go home with lower retirement benefits. This amounts to cheating and it must stop.
  4. The delay in posting has lowered morale among the promoted but not posted officers, and this is negatively affecting their performance.

SOLUTIONS

  1. The Hon. Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, should take immediate steps to direct all those retired Directors at the GES Headquarters, Regional and MM&D Directorates to hand over without any further delay. This will flush out the choked system and allow qualified officials to rise through the professional and administrative ladder.
  2. In the meantime, those promoted directors awaiting posting should be paid the basic salary of a director. The same favours granted to the recently posted Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Director must be extended to all. They cannot, and should not, suffer any financial loss due to the negligence and inertia of the GES management.
  3. The teacher unions—NAGRAT, GNAT, CCT, CHASS, CODE, COHBS—should take a special interest in this matter and push for a remedy. The welfare of every single member of our unions must be of paramount interest to the leadership. The individual teachers involved cannot stand up to this injustice because they will be victimized by the GES Management if they try to do so. Strong leaders stand for themselves, but stronger leaders stand for everyone else. It is late, but there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The time to stand up for these affected teachers is now.
News

Kwame Alorvi: The dying embers of education in Ghana

SUMMARY

  1. Many GES Headquarters Directors, including the Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng, have retired, but they remain at post.
  2. Of the 16 regional directors, as many as 11 have retired but are still on post.
  3. As many as nine, and still counting, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Directors that retired are also retained at post.
  4. Meanwhile, about 75 officials promoted to Director 2 rank in 2020 are still at their old stations awaiting posting. They have been on their old salaries for two years now, despite their promotion.
  5. The choking of the system by these retired directors has brought morale among teachers to rock bottom.
  6. The Hon. Minister of Education should take steps to ensure that these retired directors hand over to those promoted to ensure fairness.
  7. The teacher unions should step in to ensure that the welfare of their teachers is not sacrificed on the altar of a decaying system.

INTRODUCTION
The neglect of basic school education in Ghana in recent times has left the basic education infrastructure in disrepair. Lack of textbooks, three years after the launch of a new curriculum, (the Minister, Hon. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says he needs three more years to be able to supply the textbooks in 2024), and non-release of capitation grants for many years, have further compounded the problem in basic schools.

In the senior high schools, inadequate infrastructure resulting in double tracking, a shortage of food to feed students, and government indebtedness to schools have negatively impacted teaching and learning.

A decaying management system right from the GES Headquarters, to the Regional, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directorates, with many retired directors still hanging on to their positions, is increasingly becoming incapable of giving Ghanaians hope, and we are beginning to see the dying embers of our education. The fire is smouldering with smoke but no flame. In no time, the embers will extinguish, leaving in place a huge mound of ashes; the death of our education.

MANAGEMENT DECAY

Since 2018, a new phenomenon has been birthed and nurtured that ensures that GES officers who have retired compulsorily at age sixty, remain at post, thus blocking the chances of junior ranks from rising up the professional and administrative ladder.

HEADQUARTERS
Conspicuously guilty of this refusal to bow after retirement is my friend, the Ashanti Effiduase-born Deputy Director General (DDG) of the GES in charge of Management Services, Mr. Anthony Boateng. The official compulsory retirement date of Mr. Boateng was August 16, 2020, but he has still been at post ever since.

Many people believed, though, that his date of birth might have been altered to allow him to remain in the service longer than permissible. Most of his classmates had long since retired from active service.

Indeed, Mr. Boateng was one year my senior at UCC and I went on compulsory retirement six years ago!
Reports from my field officers also name the following GES Headquarters officials as being at post but on compulsory retirement:

  1. The Guidance and counseling coordinator, one Ivy.
  2. Patty Assan, Director in Charge of Schools and Instructions
  3. Bernice Addea, Director of Special Education

REGIONAL DIRECTORATES

Reports gathered by our field officers reveal that as many as eleven out of the sixteen Regional Directors have retired but have been signed on by Mr. Anthony Boateng to remain at post. Leading these regions are Ashanti, Central, Greater Accra and Northern.

The field officers are monitoring if my sister, the Volta Regional Director, who recently retired, will also be allowed to remain at post with her colleagues.

In effect, the retired Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng, has refused to give way to allow other directors to be interviewed for his position. Instead, he has formed an Esteem Club of Retired Directors, of which he has become the Life President.

“What new retirees only need to do is just apply and pay their “membership registration fees” to Mr. Anthony Boateng, and they are good to go,” lamented one promoted director waiting for posting. Another, speaking with pain, said, “District Directors are qualified, yet the retired officers continue to ask for more years and they are given, because the DDG himself has refused to go.”

Before Mr. Anthony Boateng’s retirement, or rather delayed retirement, directors who retired were given marching orders by Mr. Boateng to submit themselves to audit and hand over.

The North East Regional Director was alleged to have been hounded out of office by Mr. Anthony Boateng, even before her retirement date was due.

What has changed now is the fact that, having entrenched himself in his position after compulsory retirement, the Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng has lost any moral right to order retired directors to hand over.

The MMD Directorates

Having watched with keen interest how their bosses are breaking the rules, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directors of Education have also joined the Esteem Club of Retired Directors, headed by Mr. Anthony Boateng. After all, what is good for the crocodile, must equally be good for the frog, because they are both amphibians. Our findings are that, as many as nine retired Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Directors (and still counting), have been given the approval by Mr. Anthony Boateng to remain at post.
Meanwhile, about 75 officers promoted to Director 2 positions in 2020, are still on their old salaries awaiting posting. What a decadent system! Our team learnt that two such directors awaiting posting have since passed on. No promotion letters have been issued to them since 2020. Our field officers chanced upon a bizarre and discriminatory situation where some of the waiting directors close to Mr. Boateng, and some influential ruling party officials, MPs, and Ministers, are allegedly being processed by the GES and are being paid Director 2 grade salaries for over two years now.

A case was cited of one promoted Director 2 in the Central Region awaiting posting, just like his colleagues in the 75 group, who received salaries for many years as the Gomoa West (Apam) Director of Education, while there was a substantive Director at post in Apam. How can one district have two Directors of Education? Our field officers learnt that Director (name withheld) has recently been posted to Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District in the Central Region as Director.

Why were the remaining waiting directors not put on a director’s salary as was done to the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Director before his posting?

I must state that I am not entirely against the re-engagement of retired officers when special skills and proven commitment are required to address a specific and peculiar problem. What I am troubled about is the wholesale misapplication of the rule for parochial and partisan interests.

How can eleven regional directorates, including those in Greater Accra, the Central, Northern and Ashanti Regions, be so special as to warrant the retention of the retired directors? What peculiar problems are there to solve which other directors cannot solve?
Before such directors assumed duty, how were the directorates administered? Before Mr. Anthony Boateng’s appointment, had there not been Deputy Directors General in charge of Management Services?

EFFECT OF RETIRED DIRECTORS STILL AT POST

  1. Morale among directors awaiting posting is at rock bottom. GES operates with a rule that officials appointed as headmasters and directors must be able to serve for four years before retirement. All officials with less than four years prior to retirement are not even considered for interview, much less for promotion. Most of the Directors awaiting posting are in their mid fifties. The effect of keeping retired Directors at post while those promoted wait for over two years is that, when the GES decides to post them, they will not have the minimum of four years to serve before compulsory retirement. GES will thus not post them. The GES, which has created the problem by choking the pipeline with retired Directors, will disqualify them. What an injustice!
  2. The affected officers will be marking time in their former grade and be overtaken by younger junior officers, who then become their superiors.
  3. The non posted directors will also retire from their former lower grades and go home with lower retirement benefits. This amounts to cheating and it must stop.
  4. The delay in posting has lowered morale among the promoted but not posted officers, and this is negatively affecting their performance.

SOLUTIONS

  1. The Hon. Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, should take immediate steps to direct all those retired Directors at the GES Headquarters, Regional and MM&D Directorates to hand over without any further delay. This will flush out the choked system and allow qualified officials to rise through the professional and administrative ladder.
  2. In the meantime, those promoted directors awaiting posting should be paid the basic salary of a director. The same favours granted to the recently posted Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Director must be extended to all. They cannot, and should not, suffer any financial loss due to the negligence and inertia of the GES management.
  3. The teacher unions—NAGRAT, GNAT, CCT, CHASS, CODE, COHBS—should take a special interest in this matter and push for a remedy. The welfare of every single member of our unions must be of paramount interest to the leadership. The individual teachers involved cannot stand up to this injustice because they will be victimized by the GES Management if they try to do so. Strong leaders stand for themselves, but stronger leaders stand for everyone else. It is late, but there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The time to stand up for these affected teachers is now.
News

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, cut a sod for the commencement of the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS), at Bunso, in the Eastern Region.

The project costing $90 million is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed in two years.

Upon completion, UEAS will be the second public University in the Eastern Region, with the first being the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya.

Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people before the groundbreaking ceremony at Bunso, Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the Korean Government for its support of the development of the country and assured them of Ghana’s determination to deepen and expand the bonds of friendship between the two countries.                                                   

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

The President said the current state of affairs in the world hinges largely on science and technology towards the management and conservation of natural resources in the form of energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation and sanitation etc.                 

“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process. This means that a country’s development depends on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he added.                                                                   

He explained that that will help shape the fulfilment of the national dream, which was to meet basic challenges of survival like providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people, and creating the wealth that would guarantee the prosperity of the present and future generations.

“The establishment of this University is also part of the Government’s response to the current national preoccupation with food security. The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across several fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner,” he said.

The President recounted the introduction and implementation of various programmes and initiatives during the past five years all geared toward increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education with the goal being to ensure a target of a 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian population for science-related jobs, which will define their future employability.

He announced that the nation’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) which was 18.8 per cent as of 2021 had increased significantly to 20 per cent this year and he pledged to work very hard to ensure that the nation made many gains in that direction.

TVET record

Nana Akufo-Addo said “I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in Senior High Schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a one hundred per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure.

The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taek, lauded the President for the effort he was making toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.

He pledged to continue supporting the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people through improvement in infrastructure development in the country.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, thanked the government for the project which would go a long way to bring development to the people in the area and the rest of the country.

Background

The President during the presentation of the State of the Nation address in Parliament on 30th March 2022, hinted at plans and steps being taken to turn the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a fully-fledged independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

It was based on the promise made to the nation that he proceeded to cut the sod for the commencement of work for the new university expected to be completed within 24-months.

News

Kwame Alorvi: The dying embers of education in Ghana

SUMMARY

  1. Many GES Headquarters Directors, including the Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng, have retired, but they remain at post.
  2. Of the 16 regional directors, as many as 11 have retired but are still on post.
  3. As many as nine, and still counting, Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Directors that retired are also retained at post.
  4. Meanwhile, about 75 officials promoted to Director 2 rank in 2020 are still at their old stations awaiting posting. They have been on their old salaries for two years now, despite their promotion.
  5. The choking of the system by these retired directors has brought morale among teachers to rock bottom.
  6. The Hon. Minister of Education should take steps to ensure that these retired directors hand over to those promoted to ensure fairness.
  7. The teacher unions should step in to ensure that the welfare of their teachers is not sacrificed on the altar of a decaying system.

INTRODUCTION
The neglect of basic school education in Ghana in recent times has left the basic education infrastructure in disrepair. Lack of textbooks, three years after the launch of a new curriculum, (the Minister, Hon. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says he needs three more years to be able to supply the textbooks in 2024), and non-release of capitation grants for many years, have further compounded the problem in basic schools.

In the senior high schools, inadequate infrastructure resulting in double tracking, a shortage of food to feed students, and government indebtedness to schools have negatively impacted teaching and learning.

A decaying management system right from the GES Headquarters, to the Regional, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directorates, with many retired directors still hanging on to their positions, is increasingly becoming incapable of giving Ghanaians hope, and we are beginning to see the dying embers of our education. The fire is smouldering with smoke but no flame. In no time, the embers will extinguish, leaving in place a huge mound of ashes; the death of our education.

MANAGEMENT DECAY

Since 2018, a new phenomenon has been birthed and nurtured that ensures that GES officers who have retired compulsorily at age sixty, remain at post, thus blocking the chances of junior ranks from rising up the professional and administrative ladder.

HEADQUARTERS
Conspicuously guilty of this refusal to bow after retirement is my friend, the Ashanti Effiduase-born Deputy Director General (DDG) of the GES in charge of Management Services, Mr. Anthony Boateng. The official compulsory retirement date of Mr. Boateng was August 16, 2020, but he has still been at post ever since.

Many people believed, though, that his date of birth might have been altered to allow him to remain in the service longer than permissible. Most of his classmates had long since retired from active service.

Indeed, Mr. Boateng was one year my senior at UCC and I went on compulsory retirement six years ago!
Reports from my field officers also name the following GES Headquarters officials as being at post but on compulsory retirement:

  1. The Guidance and counseling coordinator, one Ivy.
  2. Patty Assan, Director in Charge of Schools and Instructions
  3. Bernice Addea, Director of Special Education

REGIONAL DIRECTORATES

Reports gathered by our field officers reveal that as many as eleven out of the sixteen Regional Directors have retired but have been signed on by Mr. Anthony Boateng to remain at post. Leading these regions are Ashanti, Central, Greater Accra and Northern.

The field officers are monitoring if my sister, the Volta Regional Director, who recently retired, will also be allowed to remain at post with her colleagues.

In effect, the retired Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng, has refused to give way to allow other directors to be interviewed for his position. Instead, he has formed an Esteem Club of Retired Directors, of which he has become the Life President.

“What new retirees only need to do is just apply and pay their “membership registration fees” to Mr. Anthony Boateng, and they are good to go,” lamented one promoted director waiting for posting. Another, speaking with pain, said, “District Directors are qualified, yet the retired officers continue to ask for more years and they are given, because the DDG himself has refused to go.”

Before Mr. Anthony Boateng’s retirement, or rather delayed retirement, directors who retired were given marching orders by Mr. Boateng to submit themselves to audit and hand over.

The North East Regional Director was alleged to have been hounded out of office by Mr. Anthony Boateng, even before her retirement date was due.

What has changed now is the fact that, having entrenched himself in his position after compulsory retirement, the Deputy Director General (MS), Mr. Anthony Boateng has lost any moral right to order retired directors to hand over.

The MMD Directorates

Having watched with keen interest how their bosses are breaking the rules, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directors of Education have also joined the Esteem Club of Retired Directors, headed by Mr. Anthony Boateng. After all, what is good for the crocodile, must equally be good for the frog, because they are both amphibians. Our findings are that, as many as nine retired Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Directors (and still counting), have been given the approval by Mr. Anthony Boateng to remain at post.
Meanwhile, about 75 officers promoted to Director 2 positions in 2020, are still on their old salaries awaiting posting. What a decadent system! Our team learnt that two such directors awaiting posting have since passed on. No promotion letters have been issued to them since 2020. Our field officers chanced upon a bizarre and discriminatory situation where some of the waiting directors close to Mr. Boateng, and some influential ruling party officials, MPs, and Ministers, are allegedly being processed by the GES and are being paid Director 2 grade salaries for over two years now.

A case was cited of one promoted Director 2 in the Central Region awaiting posting, just like his colleagues in the 75 group, who received salaries for many years as the Gomoa West (Apam) Director of Education, while there was a substantive Director at post in Apam. How can one district have two Directors of Education? Our field officers learnt that Director (name withheld) has recently been posted to Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District in the Central Region as Director.

Why were the remaining waiting directors not put on a director’s salary as was done to the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Director before his posting?

I must state that I am not entirely against the re-engagement of retired officers when special skills and proven commitment are required to address a specific and peculiar problem. What I am troubled about is the wholesale misapplication of the rule for parochial and partisan interests.

How can eleven regional directorates, including those in Greater Accra, the Central, Northern and Ashanti Regions, be so special as to warrant the retention of the retired directors? What peculiar problems are there to solve which other directors cannot solve?
Before such directors assumed duty, how were the directorates administered? Before Mr. Anthony Boateng’s appointment, had there not been Deputy Directors General in charge of Management Services?

EFFECT OF RETIRED DIRECTORS STILL AT POST

  1. Morale among directors awaiting posting is at rock bottom. GES operates with a rule that officials appointed as headmasters and directors must be able to serve for four years before retirement. All officials with less than four years prior to retirement are not even considered for interview, much less for promotion. Most of the Directors awaiting posting are in their mid fifties. The effect of keeping retired Directors at post while those promoted wait for over two years is that, when the GES decides to post them, they will not have the minimum of four years to serve before compulsory retirement. GES will thus not post them. The GES, which has created the problem by choking the pipeline with retired Directors, will disqualify them. What an injustice!
  2. The affected officers will be marking time in their former grade and be overtaken by younger junior officers, who then become their superiors.
  3. The non posted directors will also retire from their former lower grades and go home with lower retirement benefits. This amounts to cheating and it must stop.
  4. The delay in posting has lowered morale among the promoted but not posted officers, and this is negatively affecting their performance.

SOLUTIONS

  1. The Hon. Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, should take immediate steps to direct all those retired Directors at the GES Headquarters, Regional and MM&D Directorates to hand over without any further delay. This will flush out the choked system and allow qualified officials to rise through the professional and administrative ladder.
  2. In the meantime, those promoted directors awaiting posting should be paid the basic salary of a director. The same favours granted to the recently posted Asikuma Odoben Brakwa Director must be extended to all. They cannot, and should not, suffer any financial loss due to the negligence and inertia of the GES management.
  3. The teacher unions—NAGRAT, GNAT, CCT, CHASS, CODE, COHBS—should take a special interest in this matter and push for a remedy. The welfare of every single member of our unions must be of paramount interest to the leadership. The individual teachers involved cannot stand up to this injustice because they will be victimized by the GES Management if they try to do so. Strong leaders stand for themselves, but stronger leaders stand for everyone else. It is late, but there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The time to stand up for these affected teachers is now.
News

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, cut a sod for the commencement of the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS), at Bunso, in the Eastern Region.

The project costing $90 million is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed in two years.

Upon completion, UEAS will be the second public University in the Eastern Region, with the first being the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya.

Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people before the groundbreaking ceremony at Bunso, Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the Korean Government for its support of the development of the country and assured them of Ghana’s determination to deepen and expand the bonds of friendship between the two countries.                                                   

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

The President said the current state of affairs in the world hinges largely on science and technology towards the management and conservation of natural resources in the form of energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation and sanitation etc.                 

“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process. This means that a country’s development depends on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he added.                                                                   

He explained that that will help shape the fulfilment of the national dream, which was to meet basic challenges of survival like providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people, and creating the wealth that would guarantee the prosperity of the present and future generations.

“The establishment of this University is also part of the Government’s response to the current national preoccupation with food security. The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across several fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner,” he said.

The President recounted the introduction and implementation of various programmes and initiatives during the past five years all geared toward increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education with the goal being to ensure a target of a 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian population for science-related jobs, which will define their future employability.

He announced that the nation’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) which was 18.8 per cent as of 2021 had increased significantly to 20 per cent this year and he pledged to work very hard to ensure that the nation made many gains in that direction.

TVET record

Nana Akufo-Addo said “I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in Senior High Schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a one hundred per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure.

The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taek, lauded the President for the effort he was making toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.

He pledged to continue supporting the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people through improvement in infrastructure development in the country.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, thanked the government for the project which would go a long way to bring development to the people in the area and the rest of the country.

Background

The President during the presentation of the State of the Nation address in Parliament on 30th March 2022, hinted at plans and steps being taken to turn the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a fully-fledged independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

It was based on the promise made to the nation that he proceeded to cut the sod for the commencement of work for the new university expected to be completed within 24-months.

News

Tolon SHS temporarily closed down after fire outbreak at dormitory

The Tolon Senior High School has been temporarily closed down after fire ravaged parts of the girls’ dormitory on Thursday, May 19.

According to the school’s management, the decision was reached after an emergency meeting to allow the students stay home for a week, while authorities make alternative arrangements.

Some of the students have also been given temporary abodes within the community.

A report by JoyNews’ correspondent, Martina Bugri, revealed the fire started at about 9 am on Thursday morning and destroyed the entire top floor of the girls’ dormitory which accommodated over 600 students.

A student, Dauda Zakiya who lost all her belongings could not hold back her tears. “I have lost everything, this bag is the only thing I have”, she said.

Zakiya said she had to support her parents to be able to buy the list of items on the prospectus before she came to school.

Tolon SHS temporarily closed down after fire outbreak at dormitory

“It wasn’t easy for my father to buy me these things. They bought some and I also bought some, I was selling dates during the fasting season”, she added.

Headmaster of the School, Mohammed Issifu, says there are ongoing attempts to convert some classrooms and a compound house belonging to the Assembly into hostels when students resume.

“The Assembly has a compound house in town and with the school’s situation, we are trying to see if we can convert some of the classrooms into dormitories but we need time”, Mr. Issifu said.

Tolon SHS temporarily closed down after fire outbreak at dormitory

Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Baba Hudu said the fire was so intense that they had to dispatch several other fire tenders to the school to be able to bring the fire under control.

He said the entire first floor of the building was damaged.

Tolon SHS temporarily closed down after fire outbreak at dormitory

According to Mr. Hudu, they have advised authorities of the school to get experts to assess the block before they take a decision to reconstruct the building.

Tolon SHS temporarily closed down after fire outbreak at dormitory

“The extent of damage was because of the distance, we all know that Tolon has not got a fire station even though the Assembly has built one, and is yet to be handed over to us. The speed ramps on the road, we could count up to 23,” he said.

News

Fire guts girl’s dormitory of Tolon SHS

Tolon Senior High School has been temporarily closed down after fire guttered the school’s girls’ dormitory.

The fire which started at about 9:00am Thursday morning, destroyed the entire top floor of the girls’ dormitory occupied by over 600 students.

The decision to close down the school, was reached after an emergency meeting to allow the students to go home for a week while school authorities make alternative arrangements.

Fire guts girl's dormitory of Tolon SHS

A student, Dauda Zakiya who lost all her belongings could not hold back her tears. “I have lost everything, this bag is the only thing I have”, she said.

Zakiya said she had to support her parents to be able to buy the list of items on the prospectus before she came to school.

“It wasn’t easy for my father to buy me these things. They bought some and I also bought some, I was selling dates during the fasting season”, she added.

Fire guts girl's dormitory of Tolon SHS

The Headmaster of the school, Mohammed Issifu said the decision to temporarily close down the school was to afford the authorities some time to make alternative arrangements for the students.

He said the decision was reached in consultation with major stakeholders. Mr. Issifu said the upper part of the dormitory houses 647 female students, adding that they are looking at converting some classrooms and a compound house belonging to the Assembly as hostels when they resume.

Fire guts girl's dormitory of Tolon SHS

“The Assembly has a compound house in town and with the school’s situation, we are trying to see if we can convert some of the classrooms into dormitories but we need time”, Mr. Issifu said.

Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Baba Hudu said the fire was so intense that they had to dispatch several other fire tenders to the school to be able to bring the fire under control.

He said the entire first floor of the building was damaged.

Fire guts girl's dormitory of Tolon SHS

Mr. Hudu added that several properties of the students were destroyed and that two female students collapsed, but were resuscitated by the ambulance team.

According to Mr. Hudu, they have advised authorities of the school to get experts to assess the block before they take a decision to reconstruct the building.

He further lamented over the number of speed tables on the Tolon road, saying it hindered their travel from Tamale to Tolon.

Fire guts girl's dormitory of Tolon SHS

“The extent of damage was because of the distance, we all know that Tolon has not got a fire station even though the Assembly has built one, and is yet to be handed over to us. The speed ramps on the road, we could count up to 23”, he said.

News

Ministry of Education signs contract with Publishers Association to print textbooks for basic schools

The Ghana Publishers Association has confirmed the signing of contracts with the Ministry of Education for printing of textbooks for basic schools.

President of the Association, Asare Konadu Yamoah who confirmed this to JoyNews on Top Story, Friday said, “it is true the contracts have been signed. As I speak to you, all the publishers have submitted their copies to the Ministry and hopefully by Monday, I believe almost all the publishers would have submitted their contracts”.

He noted that the process to get textbooks published for the basic schools, has been ongoing for a while and selected publishers have been notified to get copies of their contracts from the Ministry.

“Once the Ministry has done its own selection process, it calls the publishers whose books the Ministry deems fit to select, and engage them to procure and of course supply them to the schools.

“So it has been ongoing up to the point of last week. Some of the due diligence checks were also made, the publishers were called to pick up the contracts, look at it, sign and submit to the Ministry,” he explained.

Ministry of Education signs contract with Publishers Association to print textbooks for basic schools
Photo Credit: UNICEF Ghana

A statement issued by the Ministry of Education on Friday, May 20 said the provision of the textbooks has delayed, but it does not mean the reading materials would be available in 2024 as some people have stated.

“That notwithstanding, a comprehensive Quality Assurance Review, coupled with the conclusion of all procurement processes by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), contracts have been signed and publishers have 120 days to complete their mandate from the day of signing,” the statement said.

Reacting to this, Mr. Asare Konadu Yamoah emphasised that the 120 days deadline is for the publishers to deliver the textbooks to a designated warehouse to be handed over to the Ministry for onward distribution.

“Actually, it is delivery not completion. 120 days to deliver the books to a designated warehouse or point of delivery as the Ministry would indicate…all things being equal, we hope that the books will be delivered within the time frame,” he told Evans Mensah.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has said pupils from kindergarten to primary six are still without textbooks since the new curriculum was approved in 2019.

President of GNAT, Dr. Isaac Owusu noted that the lack of textbooks and government’s refusal to pay capitation grants has crippled basic education.

“The new curriculum that was introduced in 2019, was ideally to come with its own textbooks that the teachers will use. It is not that GES or the Ministry of Education did a supply and there have been shortages, there hasn’t been any supply at all.

“So since 2019, from kindergarten to class six don’t have textbooks,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education in a statement on May 20, said it is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure students in basic schools get the needed texts for their studies.

It added that it is committed to providing quality education to Ghanaian students.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to assure the public of its commitment to the provision of quality education in all schools in the country, and the timely provision of quality textbooks is a priority to the Ministry.”

News Politics

2023: Other aspirants say I’m best man for Presidency -Saraki

 

Former Senate President and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, said other aspirants have admitted to his ingenuity in solving Nigeria’s challenges.

 

Saraki made this disclosure in Gombe while canvassing for the votes of PDP delegates in the coming presidential primary.

 

He said, “Today, I am here to urge my brothers, my sisters and my leaders to support me. Let us not vote with sentiments.

 

“If you ask all the aspirants who can make Nigeria better, who can create jobs, who can put an end to insecurity and who has the capacity, even all the aspirants will tell you Saraki is very intelligent, Saraki is very agile and Saraki is very dynamic. So if it is so, give it to him now but I know that we will get there, and as we go we will partner together.

 

“I have been in politics as Governor for eight years and Senate President for four years. I know how politics works, I know how Government works and I know how business works.”

 

He said that as Senate President for four years, he has the record as the best Senate President in the history of Nigeria, adding that “we stood by Nigeria despite all the persecution, carrying me to court every day. Insha Allahu in 2023 PDP will form the government that will bring jobs for you and include our women in government.”

 

According to him, Nigeria deserves the right leader that would unite the country and bring the people together stressing that the country has never been disunited as this.

 

Saraki said after seven years of All Progressive Congress in power, he believes Nigeria has known better and would certainly make the right choice by voting for PDP in 2023.

 

“I believe that Nigerians know better, I believe that Nigerians are committed. Having done so many years in government, the level of unemployment now we have never seen in the history of this country. When PDP was in power, the unemployment rate was 10 per cent.

 

 “It has gone now to about 33 per cent. Nigeria is now the capital of poverty, capital of kidnapping, most students are now out of school. Nigerians have seen all these and based on that Nigerians are ready to say no more of these we want PDP back,” he said.

 

He however promised to confront the security challenges bedevilling the country, noting, “the security situation has convinced Nigerians that APC is a misfit, and are now saying ‘no way for them again.”

 

He vowed to prioritise and make basic education and job creation and opportunities compulsory.

 

“Nigerians now know better having gone through joblessness and hunger,” he added.

 

On his part, the party chairman, Maj. Gen. Amnon Kwaskebe (retd.), commended Saraki for aspiring for the number one job, adding that he is a worthy aspirant.

News

AIMS holds awe-inspiring Climate Science Speaker Series (CSSS) 2022

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Ghana has organised the Climate Science Speaker Series (CSSS) 2022 at the ISSER Conference Hall, University of Ghana, Legon on Thursday, 19th May. 

Significantly, this year’s CSSS was organised during the Next Einstein Forum’s (NEF) African Science Week 2022, which focuses on celebrating the contribution of African researchers towards the construction of the world’s scientific heritage.

The CSSS aims to promote a gender lens in climate science research and increase women’s participation in climate science, according to AIMS. It was themed, the contribution of local scientists in climate change research and development: What can the youth learn? 

Welcoming participants, NEF Ambassador Justina Onumah stressed the importance of the twin celebrations and proclaimed that “we are here to celebrate scientists in research and development”!

In a remark, AIMS Ghana Center President Dr. Prince K. Osei highlighted the historical importance of the CSSS, the contribution of AIMS towards Africa’s development and the AIMS @10 celebrations this year. 

AIMS holds awe-inspiring Climate Science Speaker Series (CSSS) 2022

“Over the decade, 400 individuals (made up of 365 Regular Masters and 35 African Master’s in Machine intelligence) with 33 percent being females from 27 African countries have benefitted from the training at AIMS Ghana,” he noted. 

“Let me use this opportunity to invite you all to our 10th-anniversary celebrations. AIMS will be organising various events including its Alumni Homecoming STEM Impact Symposium from 23 to 24th June; Grand Graduation on 25th June and a Public Lecture in August 2022,” he added.

In an address, Dr. Portia Adade Williams of the Center of Science and Technology Institute (CSIR), said Africa needs to improve on its climate science research and suggested an integrated approach toward vulnerability and adaptation assessments.  

AIMS holds awe-inspiring Climate Science Speaker Series (CSSS) 2022

She posited that the youth have a crucial role to play in creating awareness about climate change. 

“We all need to do something. Africa and Ghana have good youth growth. You can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to raising climate awareness and climate literacy. The youth can volunteer to get youth concerns heard and create projects to reduce the impact of climate change in your community. What can we do before COP27?” she asked.

On his part, Dr. Robert Manteaw, Center for Climate Change and Sustainability studies spoke on ‘Addressing Data Poverty for Climate Informed Decision-Making. An opportunity for young scientists.’

He expressed concern about the lack of climate data and the inability to use data for climate change analysis as a major constraint in Ghana and Africa. 

“Old ways of doing things through historical trends or guessing cannot be relied upon. We need timely and reliable data to manage climate risk, make predictive decisions, and proactive interventions.”

Dr. Manteaw further suggested that there are funding, and career opportunities for the youth in climate science research. 

Dr. Charity Osei Amponsah of the International Water Management Institute presented a fascinating paper that focused on, The ‘hidden’ social dynamic/s in climate action. 

She touched on a practical application of climate-complex social dynamics and posited that there is a hidden social scene. 

“We need to ask what is happening? Who is it affecting and its implications for climate action? You need to take time to research to understand exactly what is going on. That should help in policy-making. Climate change is at the center of achieving the SDGs.”

AIMS Canada Resident Researcher Climate Change Science Prof. Nana Ama Brown Klutse, who led the discussion session, said it is important to raise awareness of the repercussions of climate change and how the achievement of the SDGs becomes vulnerable if climate change is not tackled.

She said that climate change is real as evidenced by changes in the weather patterns over the past 20 years. 

This elicited contributions from the participants made up of academia, students, media, and climate-action activists. The discussions focused on how individual actions can help mitigate the effects of climate change and the opportunities available for the youth.

For instance, one young student suggested a set of questions on climate science and climate change be added to the National Science and Maths Quiz competition. Interestingly, the national quiz mistress, Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Incoming-Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana was present at the event. 

The event was attended by the academia, students of AIMS Ghana, the University of Ghana, Legon and other academic institutions, as well as science enthusiasts and the media. 

News

Disregard claims government can’t supply textbooks for new curriculum – Education Ministry

The Education Ministry has urged the public to disregard assertions that government cannot supply basic schools with relevant textbooks for the new curriculum until 2024.

A statement issued by the Ministry on Friday, May 20 said the provisions of the textbooks have only delayed but does not mean they would be available in 2024 as some people have stated.

Meanwhile, over 150,000 teacher resource packs have been distributed to teachers across the country to enhance teaching and learning.

“The Ministry of Education has noted with surprise news publications making rounds, which purport that the government is unable to provide schools with textbooks for the new curriculum until 2024. The Ministry encourages the public to disregard such false publications, which are merely motivated by the mischief of some individuals.

“That notwithstanding, a comprehensive Quality Assurance Review, coupled with the conclusion of all procurement processes by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), contracts have been signed and publishers have 120 days to complete their mandate from the day of signing,” the statement said.

Disregard claims government can't supply textbooks for new curriculum - Education Ministry

The Ministry says it is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure students in basic schools get the needed texts for their studies.

It added that it is committed to providing quality education to Ghanaian students.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to assure the public of its commitment to the provision of quality education in all schools in the country, and the timely provision of quality textbooks is a priority to the Ministry.”

Music News

Accra Academy’s quest for 2022 NMSQ conquest receives massive KiDi boost

Fresh from his conquest at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) ceremony where he picked the topmost award, the Artiste of the Year, KiDi, is a man on another mission, this time, to help Accra Academy, his alma mater.

The artiste, privately known as Dennis Nana Dwamena, has set out to help Accra Aca win its first National Maths and Science Quiz (NMSQ) competition this year.

To give meaning to this new mission, KiDi and his friends, mostly sponsors, were at the forecourt of the Accra Academy on Thursday to contribute their widow’s mite towards the preparation of this year’s NMSQ competition.

It was meant to be a quiet piece of donation to the Focus Group, the team that handles the Accra Academy NMSQ contingent, but like a drop of sweetener in a teacup, the presence of KiDi on campus turned the Bleoo environment into an afternoon jamboree for students who could not have enough of the “Touch It” hit singer.

Accra Academy’s quest for 2022 NMSQ conquest receives massive KiDi boost

Ushered in by exuberant members of the Cadet Corps, with the students still mobbing, KiDi was given a ‘presidential’ welcome, even if he came without a convoy.

New Mission

For a school known across the world for its exploits in business and other success stories in national debate competitions, as well as Sports and Entertainment, the NMSQ trophy has always been a fortress that has eluded the Bleoo fraternity.

And while there has been a marked improvement in recent performances which has seen the school being seeded year-in-year-out, and making semi-final appearances as well, the failure to win the trophy remains a blot on the rich academic credentials of the school.

Accra Academy’s quest for 2022 NMSQ conquest receives massive KiDi boost

Right from the headmaster, teachers, through to the Accra Academy Old Boys Association (AAOBA), to the current students, there is a collective effort to change the NMSQ story and restore the Bleoo fraternity to its pride of place.

This is what made KiDi return to the ‘school of no regret’ Thursday afternoon and like the good fortune which followed his musical career and made him win his very first Artiste of the Year accolade, that same fortune, he believes, would follow Accra Academy to win its first NMSQ trophy this year.

But KiDi, like the other partners in the NMSQ campaign, is not counting on good fortune alone but also on good preparation for the boys ahead of the competition.

Accra Academy’s quest for 2022 NMSQ conquest receives massive KiDi boost

To help reduce the cost of preparation, the ‘Gyal Dem Sugar’ singer, donated a cheque of GHS15,000 to NMSQ Focus Group, as well as assorted products from Fidelity Bank, Samsung and KFC.

The products included school bags, kettles, and takeaway meals from KFC all of which were presented to Mr. K Amoah Awuah, President of the AAOBA.

Mr. Amoah Awuah thanked KiDi for the gesture and challenged all Bleoobii in Ghana and in the diaspora to contribute their quota in making this NMSQ dream a reality.

Accra Academy’s quest for 2022 NMSQ conquest receives massive KiDi boost

He said winning the NMSQ trophy is a costly venture and challenged the old students to make monthly contributions to prepare the boys for victory.

He also explained that the objective is not only for Accra Aca to win the NMSQ this year but to prepare the students to perform creditably well in the WASSCE.

On behalf of AAOBA, Mr. Amoah Awuah presented KiDi with a little token of appreciation for his kind gesture.

KiDi treated the buoyant students to a good number of his hit tracks before touring the campus, particularly his former Hall of residence the Ellen Hall, classroom the canteen and the NMSQ Focus Group area.

Accra Academy’s quest for 2022 NMSQ conquest receives massive KiDi boost

Interacting with the NMSQ team, KiDi challenged the students to study hard and win the trophy for the school.

That, he said, will be a record for which they will be remembered forever.

KiDi graduated from Accra Academy in 2012, from where ‘his little mind was shaped’, musical talent honed to become one of Ghana’s finest musicians.

He hopes to win many more musical accolades not only in Ghana but across the globe but while at it, he hopes to carry the dreams and aspirations of the Bleoo fraternity along as well.