• Monday, August 20, 2018

BE FIRM IN THE DOUBLE TRACK SYSTEM-IFEST TELLS GOV’T

The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) has urged government to be resolute in the implementation of the double track system of education.

In a press statement, IFEST who has been in the frontline of public advocacy of the double track system since its introduction stated that, “it is convinced that, given the current situation, the best option is to embark on the double track system. It is therefore refreshing however that the double track system is going to be temporary, which means that efforts are being made to improve the level of infrastructure for our secondary school education.”

IFEST is nonetheless against the adoption of the permanent semester system by the Ministry of Education. According to IFEST, this decision by the Ministry should not be allowed to stand “our position is that both the double track system and the semester system are stop-in-gap measures to address the current infrastructural challenges thus, hence should all be temporal”

It has also called on the Ministry of Education to reconsider that decision and assure Ghanaians that both systems are all temporary and that the system will revert to its original statues in the not too distant future.

“We urge government to speed up the infrastructural development in our secondary schools to be able to accommodation the increasing number of students accessing secondary education” .

 

 

Source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

GOVERNMENT TO SAVE 1BN CEDIS FROM DOUBLE TRACK SYSTEM EDUCATION MINISTER

The Government of Ghana has stated that the double track system will save the country a billon of cedis. According to the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, 696 Senior High Schools will be running the double tracking system.

The Minister stated that over 400 schools have been selected due to over population which will lead to infrastructural deficiency.

Addressing the media, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said, the double track system is a temporary initiative to enable government absorb excess students while setting up more classroom blocks to address the infrastructural challenges.

“The double track calendar we are adopting is a temporary intervention until we can build enough classroom blocks and enough accommodation to satisfy the Ghanaian child. Not all senior high schools will be on the double track calendar”

Dr. Prempeh also noted that the track system will create rooms in the schools for projected I programs, increase enrolment, reduce class sizes, increase contact hour and increase the number of holidays hours for staff and students

It would be recalled that President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo, whiles speaking at the Asafotufiami festival for the people of big Ada, stated that the double track system would be limited to schools facing infrastructural challenges.

There have been calls for the collapse of the new educational system, with some policy think tanks and political figures opposing the system.

 

 

 

Source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

Suspend Double-Track System at Senior High School Level-GNECC

Government has been called upon to suspend its ongoing process to implement the double-track system at the Senior High School (SHS) level.

Since Government announced the double-track system, it has received several lashes as to its realization and sustainability, hence quality education for students.

This call was made by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday 31st July, 2018, where the Executive Council Chair of the GNECC, Bright Appiah acknowledged the fact that though similar system worked in the United States, Japan and Germany, these countries are advanced countries and implementing it here in Ghana does not guarantee the success of the policy.

The Coalition, made up of 360 institutions, has proposed to the government to pilot the system for at least a year before rolling it out nationwide.

Speaking further, he explained that, “no country has ever implemented a free SHS policy where 70 per cent of students were boarders adding, ‘in fact, the best practice worldwide is the day school approach to free secondary education.”

However, he indicated that, the best practice will be “a 70 per cent day and 30 per cent boarding system which will reduce the cost of financing secondary education by at least 50 per cent while reducing the pressure on existing infrastructure,” the Coalition avers.

The double year-round system divides the entire student body and staff into two different tracks. So while one track is in school, the other is on vacation.

The rotation sequence will depend on the year-round calendar being used. In Ghana, the school calendar starts from September and ends in April with three different terms. The first term is from September to December; the second term starts in January and ends in April while the third term is from April/May to July.

Furthermore, every semester will be 80 days for the two tracks. For one semester, every track will be in school for 40 days then go for a break for 40 days. Teacher motivation has been increased from 20 hours for the year to 70 hours for the year. Teachers will be increased so every group goes on break with the track they teach.

Meanwhile, one of the teachers’ associations, National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has advised government to proceed with caution and called for a broader consultation with stakeholders in education.

 

 

 

 

Source: Ishmael Barfi/wisetvonline.com

STATE TO PROVIDE GRANT FOR PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES

The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that Government is taking steps to accelerate the grant of Presidential Charters to private universities, because of their contribution to education and learning in the country.

Addresses the gathering at the 2018 graduation ceremony at Ashesi University, Brekusu, On Saturday, 23rd June 2018, the President  stated Cabinet has recently approved the imminent establishment of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, which will, henceforth, be the regulator of all tertiary institutions in the country.

“The Commission is to provide regulations which will enable all universities, public and private alike, to be treated fairly and equally, and, thereby, expedite the treatment of deserving applications for Presidential Charters by private universities, which should take not more than four (4) years to acquire. The 6-year wait of Ashesi would be a thing of the past.”

Presenting the school with a Charter from the President of the Republic, that qualifies Ashesi University to be a fully independent university, President Akufo-Addo said “I am happy it has fallen on me to have the honour to present to the President of Ashesi University, this exemplary Ghanaian, Patrick Awuah, a Charter from the President of the Republic, that qualifies Ashesi University to be a fully independent university that can now award its own degrees. You are graduating today, as well, at a special moment in the life of this University, when it officially comes of age, and receives its own Presidential Charter. Henceforth, Ashesi would award its own certificates and degrees.”

He urged that graduates should triff to be distintict from students from the other universities.

“Identity matters, who you are matters, where you come from matters. An Ashesi degree should stand for something distinctive, and it should be different from other degrees. The surroundings, in which you have been taught, and the way you have been taught, should help to present the products of this institution as distinguishable from those of other universities.”

He added that government is securing funds to construct the Dome-Brekusu-Kitase road, which is used by many of you to reach this campus.

 

 

Source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

“Colleges Of Education To Be Upgraded To University Colleges In September” – President Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that from the 2018/19 academic year, which begins in September 2018, all Colleges of Education in the country will be upgraded to University Colleges.

Additionally, from September, President Akufo-Addo indicated that a 4-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree will be introduced in the University Colleges.

“These Colleges will, initially, be affiliated with the University of Cape Coast, and, subsequently, to other public universities. This means that, eventually, a first degree will be the minimum requirement for teaching at any level of our education system”, he said.

Currently, many teachers who complete the three-year Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) at the Colleges of Education go on, later, to do a two-year top-up first degree, by distance learning, at the University of Cape Coast.

This means that, in addition to the extra amount of money spent on getting a degree, it takes trainee teachers not less than five years to get a degree.

“With the introduction of the 4-year Bachelor of Education degree, you would now obtain your first degree at the end of your schooling. This ensures that you enter the teaching service as university graduates, with an increase in your earning capacity,” the President added.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 16th June, 2018, when he delivered the keynote address at the 170th anniversary celebration of the Presbyterian College of Education, in Akropong, in the Eastern Region.

Stressing the importance of teachers, the President indicated that all modern, successful nations that have experienced extraordinary results in the formation of human capital and economic development, such as Singapore, Finland, Korea and Canada, have shown that teacher quality is the single most important determinant of their success.

He, therefore, indicated that “for us also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a crop of well trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy.”

In addition to this year’s 11% increase in basic salaries for teachers, the President revealed that Government has cleared all arrears, accrued between 2013 and 2016, owed teachers with respect to travel allowances, transfer grants and overtime allowances.

“Presently, Government is no longer accruing arrears. We have instituted an insurance package for teachers with SIC Life, which has been agreed on with the teacher unions. We have reinstituted teacher trainee allowances. Government intends to restore the teaching profession to the status it once enjoyed, and make it an attractive career choice,” he added.

With Government focusing on improving the quality and strengthening the quality of technical and vocational education and training, the President indicated that his administration has, thus, begun the supply of equipment to boost the capacity of the Colleges of Education that specialize in technical and vocational teacher training.

Mampong Technical College of Education, some four days ago, benefitted from the provision of two thousand, five hundred and eighty-six (2,586) pieces of assorted Science, ICT, Technical and Vocational equipment.

President Akufo-Addo assured that all other Technical Colleges of Education, including the Presbyterian College of Education, will, in the course of the year, receive their due share.

“These reforms form part of Government’s vision to transform the country’s education delivery system to meet the needs of a 21st century economy, and to produce a skilled and confident workforce to drive the nation’s agenda for industrialisation and modernization,” he added.

BECE STARTS WITH OVER 500,000 CANDIDATES

A total of 509,824 candidates from 16,060 basic schools will be sitting for this years’ Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) at 1,772 examination centres across the country, today, Monday, June 4, 2018,

The number consist of 263,295 males and the 246,529 females, representing an increase of 8.9 per cent over  468,060 in 2017, most of them will be apprehensive, as they are yet to get their choices of senior high schools (SHSs) fed into the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) system.

Parliament has urged the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to ensure that the exams run smoothly without any hitches.

Government officials are scheduled to tour some of the centres this morning.

Students who pass their BECE will qualify to pursue secondary education and will be the second batch of students to enjoy free Senior High School education.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has urged the public to be assured that candidates sitting for the exams will be allowed to select their preferred Senior High Schools under the school selection and placement policy despite the unusual delay.

According to the GES, the delay is a result of a new policy guideline it has introduced into the school selection policy

GES has said that candidates who sit for the exams will be given three weeks after their exams to select their schools.

 

 

 

Source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

Minority in Parliament Accuses UEW Acting Vice Chancellor of Abuse of Power

The Minority in Parliament has accused the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Education (UEW) of abuse of power and disrespect for laid down procedures at the University.

According to the Ranking Member on Education, Peter Nortsu – Kotoe, recent developments at the University needs some special attention citing the court action which resulted in the suspension from office of some principal officers including the Vice Chancellor and the Director of Finance and the counter court decision which called for their re-instatement.

Also, the suspension of works on some development projects which otherwise could have brought relief to both staff and students, therefore, believes in the need to raise these issues so that the Ministry of Education can take necessary steps to address them.

This was contained in press statement issued by the Minority in Parliament signed by its ranking member on education, Mr. Peter Nortsu-Kotoe.

Explaining their accusations further, the Minority in Parliament revealed that, the Vice Chancellor and his culprits have arrogated extreme powers to themselves that, they are engaged in the dismissal of faculty members and other staff members on the perception that they support the interdicted staff.

The Council and Acting Vice Chancellor they accused have also transferred over two hundred (200) staff from their various post in Kumasi, Winneba and as well as Mampong campuses on flimsy excuses of regular transfers and paying them whooping sum of Four Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh₵400,000.00) to them as transfer grants.

“What is even disturbing is that some of them are nursing mothers and whose complains is threatened with dismissal” Mr. Nortsu-Kotoe lamented.

Meanwhile, the Acting Vice Chancellor who was appointed by the so called “illegal” Interim Council and should have left office with the interdicted principal officers had exhausted his term as a Pro – Vice Chancellor and no longer qualified to act as a Vice Chancellor.

Secondly, the dismissal of Dr Bekoe of the Winneba Campus and his forceful ejection from his residence on the orders of the Acting Vice Chancellor he stated is not only in a bad taste but an act not expected in an academic environment.

Indicating that, “It is on record that the Acting Vice Chancellor ordered that utility supplies to the residence of Dr. Bekoe be cut off opining that, what is even disgraceful is his order for the removal of doors and windows to the apartment when the estate staff realized that Dr. Bekoe could not be ejected easily.

Interestngly, under the labour laws of this country, anyone on interdiction or suspension from office and under investigation receives a percentage of his or her gross salary to sustain his or her family but ironically, salaries of these affected principal officers have been stopped since January 2018 under the instructions of the University Council and the Acting Vice Chancellor.

It is in this direction that the Minority in Parliament sees the conduct of the Council and the Acting Vice chancellor as abuse of power and disregard for laid down procedures which is giving a very bad image to the University.

However, the Minority through its press statement is calling on the Minister of Education to take the necessary steps to address the issues and restore sanity into the administration of the University so that faculty members and staff do not live in perpetual fear of intimidation in the discharge of their duties.

 

 

 

Source: Ishmael Barfi/wisetvonline.com

“Funding Free SHS The Most Equitable Use Of Oil Revenues” – President Akufo-Addo.

The President of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the use of some of the country’s oil revenues to fund the Free Senior High School policy, which is guaranteeing all Ghanaian school-going school access to senior high school education, is most appropriate.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “We are using some of the income from our oil revenue to fund the programme. I believe strongly that this is the most equitable and transparent use of the oil revenue, instead of it finding its way into the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats.”

As a result of the implementation of the Free SHS policy, the President stated that his Government is laying a strong foundation for an educated and skilled workforce of the future, adding that “we are investing in our future scientists, engineers, modern farmers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and transformation agents!”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 11th May, 2018, when he delivered the keynote address at the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference, at the University of Oxford.

This year, the Akufo-Addo government has announced that it will spend some GH¢453 million ($103 million) of the country’s oil revenue on funding Free SHS, more than double the amount spent last year on funding the policy.

Addressing the gathering on the theme “Enough Rhetoric: Catalysing an Era of Concrete Action”, the President stated that his administration has embarked on shifting the emphasis in education to ensure that science, technology, engineering and mathematics drive all sectors of the economy.

“We are committing resources to basic and applied science and engineering to ensure that we are able to meet the critical need for technicians and engineers. This process encompasses also a scaling up of technical, vocational and education training to supply the skills needed to build a modern economy,” he added.

Increase in Trade

Touching on the issue of trade, President Akufo-Addo stated that the ratification of the Continental Free Trade Area agreement by the Ghanaian Parliament, would mean that the era of low volumes of intra-continental trade that have defined the activities of the African economies will come to an end.

“Up till now, trade between African regions has remained low compared to other parts of the world. In 2000, intra-regional trade accounted for 10% of Africa’s total trade, and increased marginally to 11% in 2015. Trading amongst members of the European Union, for example, amounted to 70% in 2015,” the President said.

He noted that with Africa’s population set to increase from 1.2 billion to 2 billion in 20 years time, an increase in intra-regional trade in Africa is the surest way to develop fruitful relations between African countries.

This market, he explained, will present immense opportunities to bring wealth and prosperity to the African people, with hard work, ingenuity, innovation and enterprise.

“It will mean a rapid increase in exchanges of our agricultural, financial, industrial, scientific and technological products, which would enhance dramatically our attainment of prosperity, and the prospects of employment for the broad masses of Africans, particularly our youth. Our economies would then be shaped not by the production and export of raw materials, but by the things we make,” he added.

Source:wisetvonline.com

GREATER ACCRA LIBRARIAN APPEALS FOR A LIBRARY FUND

The Greater Accra Regional Librarian, Mr. Guy Amarteifio, has called on government to consider putting up a public fund also called the library fund to help develop activities of the Ghana Library Authority in the country.

According to him, libraries are important because they act as catalyst or fulcrums to nation building and development.

Mr. Amarteifio in an exclusive with wisetvonline.com said the country can boost of 10 regional libraries, 51 branch libraries and 10 mobile libraries which move to areas where the Authority feels are underserved to help with education.

He revealed that, the Authority is unable to live on their mandate due to the fact that government is the sole agent funding their operations.

Mr. Amarteifio called on benevolent institutions, philanthropists and organizations to come to the aid of the Authority by supporting and sponsoring their programs, “In the communities we have banks, churches and others organizations and these are the people we look up to come to our aid”.

He also recounted measures and activities the Authority have put in place to help its patrons.

He noted the authority is yet to convince some benefactors to bring up tool library system in the country to give library users a practical feel of artisanal tools and its use, “This library tool is happening in other places, we are even in the process of trying to see whether we can get collaborators on board to establish that thing here because it helps a lot.  We are thinking of helping the children to use the vocational skills that they have acquired in classroom. They can even to build benches to help the communities where they live”.

Mr. Amarteifio disclosed that, his institution has incorporated a library system called the “door to door” system where librarians move to schools and communities which are far away from places where there are libraries to help people study more. But he has cautioned people not to take mobile library as an intervention rather another system of library operation.

He however dismissed the assertion that Ghanaians no longer visit the libraries but hinted that there is a decline in numbers due to the afternoon classes teachers conduct for their pupils in school lately.

 

 

Source:Yaa Amoakoawaa Yeboah/wisetvonline.com

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