Hon. Mavis Nkansah-Boadu donates desks to schools in the Afigya Sekyere East Constituency. 

The Member of Parliament for Afigya Sekyere East Constituency, Hon. Mavis Nkansah-Boadu today 25th March, 2019 presented dual and mono desks to some basic schools in her constituency. 

Officials from the Sekyere South District Education Office received the desks on behalf of the schools. The desks will be distributed to schools that have inadequate desks for pupils.

Hon. Mavis Nkansah-Boadu has over the years had the desire to ensure all schools in her constituency become conducive for teaching and learning. 

The officials from the District Education Office expressed their appreciation to the Member of Parliament and commended her for her good works to improve education in the district. 

 

By: Adu Mensah Kwaku Jnr

adumensah20@yahoo.com

+233203998279

Sixteen Thousand Newly Trained Teachers Accept To Do National Service

Sixteen thousand newly trained teachers have so far been registered by the National Service Secretariat to perform their mandatory one-year national service.

This followed a successful dialogue and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and National Service Secretariat on one side and the Coalition for the newly Trained Teachers, Teacher Trainee Advocates and Teacher Trainee Association of Ghana on the other side.

Earlier this month some newly trained teachers protested against government’s directive for them to perform national service, arguing that they were not been informed before completion of their respective courses at the various University Colleges of Education.

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, addressing journalists at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Tuesday, said his outfit had done no wrong in implementing a directive established by law.

“National Service is in the law and we’re bringing newly trained teachers to fulfill the law, therefore, we didn’t do it arbitrarily,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said.

The Education Minister said the law made it obligatory for graduates from the various tertiary educational institutions in the country holding diploma and degree certificates to perform national service, without which they cannot be employed.

In view of that, he said, the National Service Secretariat wrote to all government agencies, including the Ghana Education Service (GES) to remind them on the need to employ only people who had performed their national service.

He said before the GES would employ teachers, it put prospective employees on probation for a year, while the National Teaching Council was also supposed to take teachers through an induction for a year as part of the assessment procedure to ensure that only qualified teachers were deployed to teach.

Therefore, what the Education Ministry sought to achieve was to consolidate the probation and induction so that the two exercises could be done concurrently, he said.

“So we hope that by the time they finished the national service, GES would have declared vacancies and the formal process you could be enrolled as a full-time employee would be done- your biometrics would be taken, the IPPD will be done and that is what we’re seeking to do.

“We’re not seeking to discriminate against anybody because nurses who qualified for national service are doing it and even if you have gone to the university to do your PhD and you’ve not done your service, you’ve to do it before you can be employed,” the Minister said.

The Education Minister gave the assurance that the National Standard Framework, which would serve as the benchmark for assessing the quality of education in the country would be passed soon so that the Framework would guide the assessment of the standard of education in Ghana.

He said the measurement of the quality of education is multifaceted involving the assessment of teaching, curricula, teaching and learning materials, capacity of teachers, among others, saying “the shortest cut to success and eradication from poverty is education”.

In this regards, he said, successive governments had been implementing various education reforms since 2012 to enhance the quality of education in the country and ensure that it is comparable to the best education standards worldwide.

Source: GNA

‘Manufacturers must be responsible for management of plastic waste’

Manufacturers of plastic products must be responsible for the management of plastic waste across the country, the President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Mr Steve Amoaning-Yankson, has stated.

The plastic waste problem, he said, had become a huge global issue with dire consequences particularly on fish and human lives and, therefore, called on policy makers, particularly legislators, to refocus their attention to tackling the plastic waste problem in the country from the end of the manufacturers.

Mr Amoaning-Yankson said these when he delivered the 49th presidential address of the GhIE at the Engineers centre in Accra on Monday, November 19, 2018.

Presidential address

The presidential address, which was on the theme: “Engineering effective delivery in sanitation”, is a landmark event on the calendar of the GhIE every year, during which the president of the GhIE addresses members on a specific subject matter and offers possible solutions to the problems associated with the sector.

Mr Amoaning-Yankson noted that the real culprit of the plastic menace had been let off the hook while the blame had been shifted onto individuals who had little control over the problem.

“If the plastic manufacturers are not ready to accept their responsibilities, then we have no option but to call on the government to ban the manufacture of plastics,” he stressed.

Sanitation

The GhIE president described as unacceptable the present state of sanitation after 60 years of independence and observed that sanitation in Ghana had been relegated to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) who were already faced with lots of difficulties in terms of manpower and other resources.

To compound the problem, he said, all the sewage treatment plants in the country had broken down and the state of deterioration required huge sums of money for their rehabilitation.

Citing Tema and Accra as areas whose sewage treatment plants required urgent attention, Mr Amoaning-Yankson said the sanitation problem in Accra would have been better had the sewage system development which was started in the early 1970s under a World Bank support and abandoned, been pursued.

Solid waste management

Touching on solid waste management, the GhIE president proposed the adoption of recycling to manage waste to reduce the amount of waste to landfills.

By that process, he said, useful components of the waste stream which could serve as materials in the industry could be captured, citing for example that the Tema sanitary landfill site did not allow operatives to undertake those critical activities.

“A recent study under the Water and Sanitation Programme of the World Bank has established that Ghana loses $290 million annually on account of inadequate practices in the management of liquid waste,” he added.

Tackle problems

The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, who attended the lecture noted that professional bodies such as the GhIE must look at prevailing problems in  the country, tackle such problems from the professional perspective and create the necessary contacts with the specific institutions responsible.

He expressed concern that many of the MMDAs had failed to explore the full benefit from property rates collected within their respective jurisdictions and called on the assemblies to be up and doing.

An agriculturist, Dr Foster Abu Sakara, who chaired the function said: “If indeed cleanliness is next to Godliness then by looking at some of the drains in the country, we are farther away from God as a people.”

‘Enforce Act criminalising begging, giving to beggars’

The Vice Chairperson of the Gender Committee of Parliament, Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah, has called for the enforcement of the Beggars and Destitute Act, 1969 (NLCD 392), which criminalises the act of begging and giving to beggars.

She also called for the formulation of a policy to protect children from being used as street beggars, warning that begging was illegal in the country and could lead to prosecution of both the beggar and the giver.

She said the policy should spell out sanctions for parents and guardians who pushed children into begging dangerously on streets.

Ms Mensah, who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, made the call in Parliament when she read a statement on: "Street Begging in Ghana; Child Exploitation".

She expressed worry about the growing phenomenon of street begging, especially in capital cities, and the disturbing use of children in that activity.

"Some years ago begging in Ghana was rare. Now, begging, especially in the capital cities, is happening on every street corner and every pavement in the central business districts, particularly Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.

"The number of children being pushed onto the streets keeps increasing by the day with those of Sahelian origin (fair skinned beggars) leading the charge", she said.

Children on streets

Ms Mensah said begging in Ghana had become a lucrative enterprise, "where the entrepreneurs sit either in their homes or under shades created at some corners of the street, and send children  onto the streets to beg for money from car owners and passengers, using the natural sympathy that flows for vulnerable children as a weapon for money-making."

She said the typical Ghanaian culture accommodated physically challenged people begging for alms and actually encouraged the giving of alms to the poor.

However, Ms Mensah said the attempt by some citizens and now foreigners to exploit this cultural orientation of Ghanaians, and worse of all, employ the services of children in the act, "is worrying, unacceptable and unconscionable’’.

"I respectfully call on this House to debate this phenomenon and help push for the creation of a comprehensive policy that could give protection to children on our streets, sanction parents in this exploitation business and help sanitise life on our streets", she said.

Begging hazards

Ms Mensah said children begging on streets faced a lot of hazards, which included rape, sexual abuse, victims of road traffic accidents and exposure to vices of drug abuse.

Besides, she said, the children suffered from dehydration, ate unhygienic food and did not have sanitary facilities.

"The children urinate on the streets and use the drains as toilet facilities. Road users, drivers and pedestrians experience interruption. It creates an unsafe driving environment where accidents are more likely", she said.

Recent developments

Ms Mensah recalled that on May 25, 2018, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), in collaboration with the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly, embarked on an exercise to rid the streets of beggars, and indicated that children and adults were arrested and sent away to detention centres.

However, she said, within days, the children found their way back onto the streets but the two assemblies had gone quite on the issue.

"The time to discuss this issue is now. Either we debate it now and get a comprehensive and sustainable policy or risk being flooded with beggars on the streets, at the mosque, in church and even on the precincts of Parliament.

"It is worrying to have physically challenged people begging on the streets instead of getting some skills to be self sufficient.

It is even more worrying and in fact depressing to see children, who are the future of the country, being pushed onto the streets to be used as tools for evoking sympathy that produces money for irresponsible parents turned begging entrepreneurs", she said.

Source: graphic.com.gh

NUGS PRESIDENT ELECT, TINKARO.

Congratulations, Mr. Tinkaro Osei Asare Richmond, the President elect for National Union of Ghana Students for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Tinkaro has held several leadership positions at the students'front which has given him the experience, knowledge  and exposure to bring an end to the numerous challenges that have been confronting the National Union Of Ghana Students over these past few years.

Leadership positions he has held over the years include, Minister of Youth and Student Mobilization at the Ghana Youth Leadership Parliament, President Local NUGS University of Ghana 2015/2016, Administrative Assistant, Ghana International Model of United Nations, Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations Dream Team Africa, Head of External Affairs Committee University of Ghana SRC  2015/2016 among other positions.

Congrats Tinkaro

 

By: Adu Mensah Kwaku Jnr

adumensah20@gmail.com

0203998279

INDISCRIMINATE POLYTHENE BAGS DISPOSAL A BLIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA

Over the years there have been numerous and unending public education and awareness about the effects of poor sanitation, despite these efforts it seems living in dirt has become a norm for most Ghanaians. Polythene/plastic bags and sachet water have become our friend and worst enemy in this country. Cities, towns and villages have become areas full of polythene bags and water sachets due to the indiscriminate disposal by inhabitants of the country.

Many Ghanaians are of the view that cleaning our surroundings is solely the responsibility of Zoomlion, as a result we throw polythene bags anyhow. People sit in vehicles and throw these bags on the street without thinking about the effects. It has also become a tradition in Ghana that groceries bought should be placed in a polythene or plastic bag no matter how small the item is, these bags later become waste in our various homes.

Are we going to develop as a nation if we keep on doing this? Will we be able to achieve the sixth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals which is “having clean water and sanitation” with this negative mentality? Former President Jerry John Rawlings once said “If we do not improve our sanitation habits we will never develop. There will be new street lights, roads and drains but we will dump refuse in the new drains and slow our development”.

Do we really think about the effects of poor sanitation; diseases outbreak, flooding among others? According to World Health Organization “a child dies every minute from malaria which is caused by mosquitoes that breed and multiply in filthy environment”. Do we always have to blame the Government when there is flooding, while we are mostly the main cause of flooding by getting our drainage systems choked with plastic bags and water sachets.

Always solutions given about solving sanitation issues are Government, MMDAs and other stakeholders providing bins, enforcing laws, creating awareness, clean up exercises among others. These solutions will never solve our poor sanitation issues with our negative mentality of indiscriminately disposing plastic bags.

Can our nation be free of plastic bags like Rwanda and other countries? Do we really feel comfortable nicely dressed and walking around a filthy environment? Ghana will remain seventh or even move up as the dirtiest country in the world if there is no substantial progress of us changing our negative attitude towards the use and disposal of polythene bags and water sachets.

By: Adu Mensah Kwaku Jnr

adumensah20@gmail.com

0203998279

Parents making savings from free SHS implementation – Finance Minister

A parent who has a child in a boarding senior high school (SHS) in Ghana is expected to save nearly GH¢6,045 over a three-year period under the free SHS (FSHS) programme, the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

A break down by the Minister indicated that the immediate cash benefits to a parent with a boarding SHS student is GH¢2,015.22 and GH¢2,115.22 for a parent with a boarding Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) student.
Presenting the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government to parliament last Thursday, he said, a total of 271,000 aged between 16 -18 years, who would have been thrown onto the streets but for free SHS are now seated in classrooms getting an education and gaining training to give them a better future.
“For the first time in our history, the whole of Ghana is enjoying Free SHS. Under free SHS, students are entitled to; free meals (Both boarding and day); free boarding accommodation; and free textbooks,” he stated.
Mr Ofori-Atta said that in 2017, the FSHS provided over 90,000 additional teenagers the opportunity to get senior high school education and improve their opportunities for work in the future.
“In 2018, as a result of the innovative double track system, we have been able to accommodate 181,000 more students who otherwise could not have access to secondary education,” he indicated.
Funding
He said government inherited over GH¢120 billion of debt at very high interest rates and even though it has brought down interest rates considerably, “we are still saddled with a sizeable amount of expensive debt.”
He said in 2019, government will spend over GH¢16 billion of revenue (over 26.6%) on interest payments, explaining that if it was able to refinance its debt at a much lower interest rate, it can make some savings that can be used to fund the FSHS.
“This amount can be considerably reduced if we refinance our debt at much lower interest rates.
A ten percent reduction in the interest rates translates into over GH¢1.6 billion in savings; almost enough to pay for Free SHS in 2019,” he said.
Other interventions
The Minister said the school feeding programme had been increased to cover 2.1 million pupils from 1.6 million and the amount spent on each child increased by 25 per cent, while the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, (a social cash transfer programme that provides cash and health insurance to the extremely poor) had added over 150,000 households.
He said the share of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to persons with disabilities had been increased from two to per cent to three per cent.
Other reliefs
Mr Ofori-Atta outlined that the Capitation Grant had been doubled from GH¢4.5 to GH¢10.0; teacher and nursing training allowances have been restored; and electricity tariff reduced from 17.5 per cent for households and 30 per cent for businesses.
According to him, the National Insurance Scheme arrears of GH¢1.2 billion had been cleared and provided food crop farmers with 50 per cent subsidy on fertiliser under the planting for food and jobs program.
“We have provided jobs to 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) across every constituency in Ghana,” he added.
Social security
The Finance Minister said in line with government’s commitment to ensure retirement income security for every Ghanaian, it had taken steps to expand social security to cover the informal sector by charging the board of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to ensure the inclusion of informal sector workers.
In this direction, he announced that SSNIT was working with government to develop a policy framework to provide informal sector workers with a voluntary fully funded personal pensions scheme which will be launched in 2019.
Source: graphics.com.gh

Strengthen enforcement activities on open defecation MMDAs told

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has asked the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to strengthen their enforcement activities against open defecation.

The Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Micheal Gyato, who made the call, said the role of the MMDAs in ending open defecation must begin with the enforcement of stringent compliance laws which required all households to have toilet facilities.

“I want to urge the MMDAs to go the extra mile to enforce laws on open defecation and ensure the availability of household toilets in their areas of jurisdiction,” he stressed.

Mr Gyato was addressing a durbar to commemorate World Toilet Day yesterday at Jamestown in Accra.

World Toilet Day is an international observance commemorated in 139 member states of the United Nations on November 19 each year.

The theme chosen for this year’s global celebration was: “When nature calls”, and in Ghana the in Ghana the focus was on how to halt the annual cholera outbreaks in parts of the country and the need to adopt appropriate means to deal with the situation.

The celebration also placed emphasis on how to discharge liquid waste in a dignified manner, without causing harm to individuals.

The durbar to mark the day was attended by the CEO of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah; some traditional leaders of the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Area, students of selected schools in the Jamestown area, as well as civil society organisations in the sanitation sector.

Statistics

Mr Gyato said according to data on housing, only 15 per cent of Ghanaians currently had access to toilet facilities in their homes, while an estimated 35 per cent of urban dwellers patronised public toilet facilities.

He added that a staggering 19 per cent of the population defecated in the open.

Mr Gyato stressed that the data provided a strong reason the country needed to show a strong commitment to the fight against open defecation.

Government interventions

In his address, Mr Sowah said the celebration presented a perfect opportunity for the country to reflect on the journey to fighting open defecation.

He said the government, for its part, had introduced measures, including the provision of toilet facilities in cluster schools, to help fight the menace and prevent the possible outbreak of cholera and other diseases.

He said it was also supporting households to build their own toilet facilities and called for collective efforts by all to end open defecation in the country.

“The government wants to end open defecation and so we have decided to offer 70 per cent financial support to households which are ready to construct toilets.

“We don’t want a situation where people found indulging in open defecation will give the excuse that there are no toilets in their homes,” he said.

The Chairperson for the occasion, Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, a media consultant, called for behavioural change among the public in the quest to end open defecation.

She also called on traditional authorities to throw their weight behind the fight to end open defecation.

Source: graphic.com.gh

Krofrom: Cars, shops burnt in gas filling station explosion

A gas filling station at Krofrom in the Ashanti Region caught fire on Tuesday morning after an explosion.

Some cars and nearby shops are said to have been affected by the raging inferno.

Citi News’ Ashanti Regional Correspondent, Hafiz Tijani, said there are unconfirmed reports of some casualties.

Hafiz said although the cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained, he said eyewitnesses claimed it started from the emergency room where the gas cylinders are refilled.

He added that the gas filling station is located between two washing bays.

“It happened around 8am and it’s not so clear what sparked this fire. We have some shops close to the washing bay. Now that is where the fire service is trying to douse the fire. I can see flames bellowing from some shops close to the washing bay and the Fire Service team just came in with another tender trying to put the fire off. For the gas filling station, all the facilities here have been razed including some cars that came to refill their cylinders.”

He said some nearby shops are still burning, but the fire service has contained the situation at the gas filling station.

Source: citinewsroom.com

Essien still married to Akosua Puni – Family denies divorce reports

A family source confirmed that reports of any divorce are false and only “figments of people’s imagination”.

Reports that Micheal Essien and his wife, Akosua Puni, have divorced is false, family of the footballer has boldly stated.

The Ghana international has been in the spotlight in the last few days following reports that his marriage has ended on the rocks.

There were earlier claims that Essien and his wife, Akosua Puni, were having problems, but reports circulating in the local media on Wednesday suggested the pair had finally divorced.

It was claimed that Akosua Puni left her matrimonial home after growing tired of her husband’s cheating nature.

However, a family member has denied the reports insisting their relative is still married to his wife.

Accra-based Citi FM reports that a family source confirmed that reports of any divorce are false and only “figments of people’s imagination”.

Essien has been without a club since being released by Indonesian side Persib Bandung earlier this year.

The former AC Milan midfielder recently revealed that he will not retire anytime soon and is currently training with the Chelsea reserve team to maintain his fitness.

Source: pulse.com.gh