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Ghana needs transformational thinkers, doers – GTUC Vice President

Vice President of GTUC, Professor Isaac Abeku Blankson, says education should equip students to become transformational thinkers.

Speaking at the 22nd matriculation ceremony of the university in Accra recently he told the new students, “our continent and country are at a point where we need transformational thinkers and doers. Hopefully, the kind of education you will receive in the next few years should set on you the course of this journey of transformation”.

He said education should not only be about the acquisition of knowledge but it must engender honesty, respect, equality and compassion.

“Knowledge, therefore, is the awareness of knowing about what, why, when, where and how of anything. It is power both intellectually and physically,” he said.

During the ceremony, 370 students were formally admitted in the University to formally pursue certificate, diploma and degree programmes for the intake of the 2018 academic year.

Among the newly admitted students, were 306 males and 85 females; which also include 13 international students from eight different countries.

He said in GTUC their quest for knowledge was embedded in all aspect of their teaching and learning; declaring that “this means; to see, listen, understand, desire, plan, work and achieve”.

He said the school seeks to empower students to continue the search for knowledge through constant learning and innovation.

“On behalf of the entire University College, I pledge that we will do everything possible to ensure that you develop your talents and interests to their fullest while you are here,” Prof Blankson said.

“GTUC is a place where you can achieve your true potential, a place where you can realize your dreams is definitely a place where theory combines with practice to give us a better understanding of the world around us,” he added.

He assured the students that the University College would give them the tools to reason, to make judgements, to ask tough questions and to become critical thinkers.

“If you apply yourself, GTUC will enable you to be an entrepreneur, engineer, business administrator or the ICT guru you desire to become,” he said.

“Only when we have been able to raise leaders, thinkers and most importantly does who are committed not just to self but to humanity as well, will we consider our job done. Today, I challenge you to open up yourself and mind to this wonderful experience,” he added.

The GTUC Vice President congratulated the students for having secured a seat in GTUC; stating that “this is the first step towards fulfilment of your dreams”.

 

Source: myjoyonline

Ghana’s first Open University holds coding clinic

Laweh Open University, Ghana’s Premier Open Universality has held a Free Coding Clinic to help address the unemployment situation in the country.

This program in collaboration with FVTech Canada seeks to empower Ghanaian youth with the skill to take advantage of the computer age and create problem solving software to enhance their quality of life.

Speaking at the launch, Consulting Vice Chancellor, Prof Goski Alabi said the initiative is to contribute their quota to solving the unemployment situation in the country.

She indicated that, the Coding Clinic is just one of the many short-courses that the school will introduce to empower individuals and train them on modern ways of doing things.

“We believe in applied and useful education to enable the youth acquire practical skills to reduce the unemployment challenge in the country” she stated.

The Laweh Consulting Professor noted that, participants will not only be empowered but increase their chances of landing a job or make them entrepreneurs.

Prof Goski who also Ghana’s First female Professor of Quality Assurance at the University of Professional Studies (UPS) underscored the need for educational institutions in Ghana to empower people with hands-on employable skills to make them fit into the job market or succeed as entrepreneurs.

She advised the youth to accept challenges and always take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills.

 

Source: myjoyonline

Do not destroy reputation of teachers – GNAT

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has cautioned the public to desist from creating stories that are meant to destroy the reputation of members of the teaching profession.

This followed the incessant discussions that had been on-going on various platforms, including social media about the alleged sexual harassments of students by their teachers.

A statement from GNAT copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday said, although some allegations were true, others were deliberately formed to drag the teaching profession into the mud.

The press release signed by Mr David Ofori Acheampong, General Secretary of GNAT, said in order to curtail issues about the alleged sexual harassment, teachers must critically study and abide by the Code of Conduct binding the Teaching Profession, particularly employees of the Ghana Education Service.

The statement said teachers must know that being the representatives of parents, its incumbent on them to offer protection to students, as they would their own children and endeavour not to harm them in any way.

It said parents on their part must desist from encouraging teachers to provide the needs of their wards, since such offers often had strings attached, that sometimes subtly involves reciprocity.

“Parents or guardians must live up to their responsibilities towards their female students, particularly,” the statement said.

It said education authorities must avoid vindictiveness and hasty conclusions in matters concerning teachers, adding that, “due diligence and process should be followed at all times in arriving at decisions that will not affect innocent individuals”.

The statement encouraged victims of alleged sexual harassments to disclose the perpetrators for the necessary disciplinary action to be taken.

It said many innocent teachers had fallen prey to the machinations of “backbiters”, who out of malice, had planted false stories about them resulting in the loss of hard-earned reputation.

It noted that this negative act had affected the image of the Union of which teachers belong.

The statement encouraged all teachers to behave professionally and maturely while dealing with students and strive to live above reproach.

 

Source: Adomonline

Sixty adolescent girls to receive community training

More than 60 adolescent girls and parent peer counselors within the Kochem, Ngogu and Bogunaayili communities in the Northern region, will receive training on community response and accountability strategies to reduce the school drop-out rate among adolescent girls. This is part of a series of trainings and support seminars being organized to empower the girls, parents and community leaders.

The program, Investing in Adolescent Girls Strengthens our Community, which was launched on February 2, 2018, will also equip at least 30 local leaders from these communities (religious and traditional leaders, school administration, and business leaders) with similar strategies.

The project is being led by Danielle Taylor, the founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit organization, Òman Baako. It is being carried out in collaboration with two local development organizations.

The communities requested the project be carried out there to reduce the number of adolescent girls who drop out of school shortly after entering Junior High School.

This worrying development is common in many rural villages of northern Ghana where girls desert their communities to hawk along the streets of Accra.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Ms Taylor described the impact of the abandonment of their education and homes as “immediate and profound”. “It reduces their critical thinking skills, their future earning potential and their capacity to contribute to their community’s well-being”, she lamented.

She further explained that members of these communities felt “existing social norms contribute to gross gender inequity that leaves girls ill-equipped to seek and take advantage of opportunities that would increase their physical, social, and economic security and welfare”.

The approach being used by Òman Baako is to work collaboratively with and through diverse segments of communities’ members and leaders, to build a more equitable community that celebrates and elevates the contributions and inherent human rights of its young girls.

By doing so, the community is better positioned to tackle a variety of interconnected Sustainable Development Goals.

About Òman Baako

Òman Baako translates into “One Community” in Twi. The name reflects the organization’s belief that in levelling the playing field for women and girls, all of society benefits as one. Òman Baako has a unique model of development, different from that of traditional international development organizations in that it supports communities in collectively setting their own vision for development and allows locals to be the drivers of progress as opposed to fulfilling an externally prescribed process.

Source: Òman Baako

Don’t leave Free SHS implementation to gov’t alone – Parents urged

National Programme Coordinator of SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, George Yaw Boateng, has called on parents to support the government with the implementation of the free senior high school policy.

He said leaving the responsibility of the policy on the government alone would not promote quality education as education cannot be absolutely free as perceived in some quarters.

Mr Boateng said this when the SOS Children’s Villages Ghana organized an advocacy training workshop for community-based organisations and community leaders at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region.

The training is one of the SOS Children’s Villages project dubbed: “Quality Education Now” being carried out in seven districts namely Kpone/Katamanso, Ningo/Prampram, and Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region.

The rest are East Akim and Fanteakwa Districts in the Eastern Region and Asokore Mampong District in the Ashanti Region.

Mr Boateng said the advocacy programme was aimed at bringing stakeholders and individuals together to find ways of assisting duty-bearers to do their work well to improve teaching and learning in the education sector.

He said this would help the stakeholders to speak with one voice as they seek solutions to problems that hinder the delivery of quality education.

Mr Boateng said it has been realised that examination results of students in the public schools are not encouraging and that the Quality Education Now programme has come to remedy the situation.

The Programme Coordinator urged parents to pay regular visits to schools to see how their children fare in class and to have interactions with teachers while attending parent-teacher association meetings to contribute their quota to the development of schools.

Mr Boateng said the frequent demands for monies at parent-teacher association does discourage some parents from attending meetings, especially at the low-income communities and called for a second look at the situation.

He appealed to community members to own the public schools and do whatever they can to support their management.

He called on the Ghana Education Service to organise refresher courses and in-service training for teachers in the public schools to update their teaching skills, saying that the world is moving very fast and the teachers must be abreast with the times.

Mr Boateng said for teaching and learning to go on well in the schools, supervision must improve and urged district educational coordinators, circuit supervisors and head teachers to do their best to ensure that teaching and learning progress as expected.

The school management teams should ensure that the little financial resources extended to them are prudently utilised, adding that; “our expectations are that all the school management will do well to see that the schools are performing well,” he said.

Even if the government is saying that education is free at all, there are roles that parents must play by making provision of some textbooks and uniforms among others “to make things comfortable for their children to learn and pass their examination successfully.”

 

Source: myjoyonline

Govt shifts Free SHS burden to Scholarship Secretariat

The government has shifted the cost burden of the direct funding of its free senior high school (SHS) programme to the Scholarship Secretariat.

Consequently, the government has reduced its Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) allocation to the programme from GH¢212 million last year to GH¢10 million this year.

The amount represents a  95.3 percent reduction of the funds allocated for the government’s flagship education policy in its first year of implementation, a report by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education stated.

A total number of 355,053 first year SHS students comprising 113,622 day students and 239,431 boarding students were catered for under the programme.

The number of beneficiaries is expected to double when fresh admissions are opened in September this year to commence a new academic year.

So far, the Scholarship Secretariat will be spending about GHc500 million in financing the free SHS programme out of its budget of GHC1.2billion.

The source of funding for the Free SHS programme has been a vexed issue since the government rolled it out in its first year in office with a section of the public raising doubts about its sustainability.

These concerns were, however, allayed when the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, in delivering the 2017 Annual Budget statement in Parliament, said that the programme would be financed from the ABFA.

Already, the minority in parliament has described as illegal, the government’s decision to allow the Scholarship Secretariat to administer funds for the implementation of the policy.

The minority leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu in December last year said the Act governing the operations of the Ghana Education Service, had been breached with the allocation of GH¢ 1.2 billion to the secretariat.

“The Scholarship Secretariat deals with scholarships. This is a major government policy of providing bursaries to ensure free secondary education so the scholarship secretariat must focus on Cuban students, Ghanaians students in Moscow.”

Although GH¢9.3 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Education to implement its programmes and activities this year, which is 11.2 percent increase over the GH¢8.4 billion allocated to the ministry last year, the source of funding for the budget has changed significantly.

Officials of the ministry explained to the committee that a significant portion of the ABFA allocation for 2017 was meant for the implementation of the free SHS programme, but those funds had been slashed following the decision to ensure that the implementation of the programme, this year would be catered for by the Scholarship Secretariat  hence the decrease in the 2018 ABFA allocation.

Voluntary contributions

Meanwhile, Mr Ofori-Atta in presenting the 2018 budget said a fund to receive voluntary contributions from individuals to sustain the policy was to be set up this year.

He said the setting up of the Fund had become necessary following proposals made to government by individuals.

“With the successful launch of the free SHS programme, the government received proposals from the public, several of which encourage the establishment of a fund to receive voluntary contributions to support education.

“Thankfully, the GETFund Law allows for the setting up of other education-related funds. In 2018, the Ministry will work with GETFund to set up this education fund to enable Ghanaians to make voluntary contributions to support education,” he added.

 

Source: Myjoyonline

Don’t ‘force careers on students – Educationist

The Municipal Health Director for Ga West Municipality, Dr. Doris Arhin, has advised parents and guardians against dictating to their children the professional careers they should take up.

She said most children grow up not doing their work appropriately because they lack interest in the careers they have taken up.

Dr. Arhin said this during the first Nurses and Mid-Wives Awards day at Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region on the theme: “Attainment of sustainable Development Goal Three, the role of Nurses and Midwives in the Municipality.”

Nii Kortey Boi II, Ofankor Mantse, who is also the Presiding Member of Ga West Municipal Assembly, commended the Association for their numerous services throughout the Municipality, saying it was their responsibility to contain the outbreak of any epidemic disease in the municipality and the whole of the country.

He said some decades ago, Buruli Ulcer and Cholera were contained, and they should use the same enthusiasm to rid societies of contagious diseases.

The chief said the Municipal Assembly was making frantic efforts to construct more Clinics and Hospitals, Health Centres, CHPS compounds and Nurses Quarters with Doctors’ Bungalows to enable them stay in the Municipality.

Source: GNA

Manya Krobo SHS: Students charged GHC75 for nose masks

Citi News has sighted a letter from the Manya Krobo Senior High School in the Eastern Region which indicates that students are being charged an amount of GH¢75 each for the purchase of gloves and nose masks.

The newsletter, which was signed by the headmaster of the school, D. Tetteh Kwao, said the move was aimed at preventing meningitis and other public health-related diseases.

Although government is strictly against the payment of extra fees by students particularly due to the implementation of the Free SHS programme, the headmaster noted that the decision had been approved by the Ghana Education Service.

The letter, dated December 20, 2017, said, “the approval has been given by Ghana Education Service for the students to make payment in respect of meningitis and public health-related disease prevention as discussed at our PTA meetings in the second term of the year.”

“Meningitis and Public Health related disease prevention GH¢75.00….The meningitis menace is fast spreading among schools in the country. Recently, it has taken lives of students in Kumasi Academy and it is moving Southwards,” it said.

WASSCE: 1,873 Private candidates’ results withheld for alleged cheating

The West African Examination Council (WAEC), has released the provisional results of 117,306 candidates who sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for 2017 private candidates.

The results of 1,873 candidates, alleged to have been involved in various examination malpractices, have been withheld pending the conclusion of investigations into the cases.

This was in a statement signed by Reverend Victor Brew, the acting Director, on behalf of the Head of the National Office of WAEC, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday.

It said the withheld results would be released as soon as the Council concludes its investigations.

The statement said candidates may access their results online at www.waecgh.org.

It alerted members of the public to be wary of the activities of fraudsters who would contact candidates with the promise of bettering their results for a fee payable through mobile money transfers.

The statement assured the public that the Council’s results database was well secured, and as such, all forged results could be detected by the confirmation or verification system.

“Institutions and organisations are advised to confirm or verify results presented to them directly from the Council or access the confirmation or verification service online at the WAEC website.

Source: GNA

I’ll pay your salaries, allowances on time – Akufo-Addo to teachers

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured teachers of prompt payment of their salaries and allowances.

He said his government will rid the system of all the challenges that cause hiccups during payment.

At the 80th anniversary celebration of Abuakwa State College in Kibi Saturday, the president said he is committed to improving the welfare of teachers.

“We will concentrate on incentives that will motivate teachers and reward their hard work,” president Akufo-Addo said, drawing applause from the gathering.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has had issues with the processing of salaries of employees, causing several months of delay.

The past regime promised to address the issue but the problem still persists.

Knowing teachers will play a huge role in the implementation of the Free senior high school education policy, the government has set out to keep them satisfied.

President Akufo-Addo said his government recognizes the contribution of a well-trained, contented teacher to the delivery of quality education.

“[We’ll] ensure that teachers’ salaries and allowances are paid regularly and on time,” he said.

But the enjoyment of these benefits must be tied to the studiousness and delivery of teachers in their classrooms, he said.

The president has implored school authorities to help the Education Ministry and GES eliminate teacher absenteeism.

President Akufo-Addo noted the issue is one of the many factors that lead to poor performances of students.

“Teachers must, therefore, project excellence to their students,” the president who has described himself as teacher-friendly said.

He also charged students to commit to heart, self-discipline and the effective use of their time, which he said are some of the key ingredients to success.

 

Source: myjoyonline

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