Tag Archives: News

President launches Free SHS with pride; recalls being labeled a liar

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is delighted to have proven his critics wrong as he launches one of the nation’s ambitious and audacious programmes – the Free SHS Policy. Continue reading President launches Free SHS with pride; recalls being labeled a liar

WhatsApp Update 2.12.365 for Android Now Available for Download, See Features & More Details Here

The latest WhatsApp update for Android is now available
for download. Developers of WhatsApp has been working
endlessly to provide the best service to their users.
Recently, they released WhatsApp Update 2.12.365 for
Android, which aims to fix bugs and provide several fixes
for the said application.
According to Neurogadget , WhatsApp is releasing two new
updates because of the overwhelming number of reported
bugs by its users. Currently, there is an available WhatsApp
update on Google PlayStore that can be downloaded by its
users. However, they are also trying to improve WhatsApp
2.12.365 version for Android, which will be made available
online but not on their official website.

Despite not having an official statement about the latest
WhatsApp update 2.12.365 for Android, the said update is
known to be smaller in size cutting it from 23.25 MB to
19.87 MB. Features that have been removed were not
revealed, but considering the size, it will probably contain
bug fixes.
New features may not even be included as the size is
deemed to be too small. If ever there’s an additional
update, it may have something to do with the option to
back up chats on Google Drive in all platforms and not just
selected devices.
The current WhatsApp Update 2.12.365 is merely an
enhancement of what’s already been previewed on its beta
version. These improvements are all based from user
feedback, which is why the current WhatsApp Update
2.12.365 mostly contains improvement based on what has
been negatively encountered from using the app.
Currently, WhatsApp’s latest updates include the popular
emoji, which shows different emotions coming from
different symbols of animals, fruits, etc. WhatsApp chat
runs on a wireless network, which makes it so popular to
users because of its free call and text messaging feature.
Neurogadget was able to feature the previous version of
WhatsApp, version 2.12.364, which contains a feature that
allows users to save chat history in the Cloud. This was
made available only on selected devices at the time of its
release. With the new WhatsApp update 2.12.365, there
may be a chance that it will be implemented on all devices.
Have you noticed the different changes made by the
WhatsApp update? What do you think has been the most
useful feature of the app since it was created? Comment
below and see what others think of the app.

Latinpost.com

Minister calls for formidable educational system

Professor Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang,
Minister of Education, has called on
Ghanaians to help create formidable
educational institutions in the country.

According to her the current educational
system has become weak hence the need to
rationalise the scheme to provide quality
education.

The minister made the call when she visited
Ghana Academy of Arts And Science, in Accra
on Tuesday.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said the ministry is
focusing on ensuring that there is proper
accountability, supervision, monitoring and
value for money in the schools.

Meanwhile Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa,
Deputy Minister in-charge of Tertiary
Education, also toured the Centre for
National Distance Learning and Open School,
in Accra.

He noted that the ministry wants to deploy
ICT infrastructure nationwide to ensure equity
and quality.

Mr Ablakwa urged the academic institutions
to deploy ICT systems since it would be the
criteria for accreditation in future.

Mr Alex Kyeremeh, Deputy Minister in-
charge of Pre- Tertiary Education, observed
that examination malpractice is a major
problem the ministry and asked the security
agencies to help reverse the anomaly.
Source: GNA

Gov’t Reeleases GH¢25m To Pay School Feeding Caterers

An amount of over GH¢25 million Cedis has been disbursed for the payment of caterers engaged in the School Feeding Programme (GSFP) at all beneficiary districts that have duly submitted their returns to the National School Feeding Programme secretariat.

The amount, which will cover a total of 1,113, 928 pupils, was deposited at the Bank of Ghana last Monday for onward payment to the beneficiaries.

The National Co-ordinator of the programme, Mr Seidu Adamu, who announced this to the press in Tamale on Wednesday, however, expressed disappointment over the inability of about 10 districts to submit their returns since September last year.

According to Mr Adamu, the names of the recalcitrant districts had been submitted to the Ministry of Local Government to determine the appropriate sanctions against the defaulting districts. He, however, indicated that a supplementary budget would be prepared for those districts as and when they forwarded their returns.

“The delay in the payment is not the fault of neither the government nor the secretariat but from some of the assemblies that are not heeding to our advice,” Me Adamu said.

The National Co-ordinator bemoaned the lack of co-operation from some of the districts in the smooth running of the programme and urged assemblies and their respective desk officers to be up to their tasks and also submit reports on all school caterers who were not living up to their tasks, for whatever reasons, to the secretariat for immediate attention.

Mr Adamu spoke to a section 9f the media after addressing a two-day stakeholder planning workshop on facilitation of a smallholder farmer access to the GSFP ready market.

The four-year programme that is being facilitated by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV ) is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The programme, which would be piloted in 20 districts in the country, is expected to benefit about 10,000 smallholder farmers including 30 per cent of women.

It is also to enable them derive increased and stable income through effective participation in the home grown school feeding programme.

According to Mr Adamu, since the inception of the GSFP in 2005, there had been a poor linkage with local farmers and indicated that the project would now enhance their collabora-tion for mutual benefit.

He said his secretariat was liaising with the Ghana Buffer Stock Company to purchase local rice for caterers under the GSFP.

In line with this, Mr. Adamu said, the districts had been directed to get their respective warehouses ready to receive their supplies by the close of this month.

“The strategy to feed school children with locally prepared food that is nutritionally adequate will focus spending on the local economy to provide ready market for farm output leading to wealth creation for the rural households at the communities,” the co-ordinator explained.

For her part, the national co-ordinator of the project at the SNV, Madam Fati Bodua Seidu, said the 7.5 million US dollars programme is being implemented in Ghana, Kenya and Mali where over a total of 78,000 farmers would benefit.

She said apart from improving livelihoods and incomes, it would also enhance procurement governance by promoting favourable public and private sector procurement policies.

The president of the Ghana Federation of Agricultural Producers, King David Amoah, described the intervention as timely and encouraging since it would increase incomes and create employment opportunities for farmers and the youth at the communities.

Daily Graphic.

CETAG Threaten Strike Over Delay In Passage of College of Education Bill

Accra, Jan. 11, GNA –
The National Council of Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) , on Wednesday threatened to embark on a strike if Government fail to ensure the swift passage of the Colleges of Education Bill by Friday, January 20.

“If pragmatic actions are not taken to pass the bill, we would not be in a position to offer our services, notice of our intentions has been communicated to the various stakeholders,“ the group indicated.

Reverend Francis Kusi-Ababio, Chairman of CETAG, at a press conference, organized by the group in Accra on Wednesday, said the decision was taken by the Executive Council, following failed efforts to interact with the Minister of Education on the issue.

The Council registered what it described as the displeasure of government’s deliberate delay in the passage of the bill to give Colleges of Education the legal framework to operate as full tertiary institutions.

It said: “Our members are highly displeased because of the anxiety, frustration and low morale currently prevailing in the working atmosphere in the Colleges of Education and it can have negative implications on educational development in the country.”

Rev. Kusi-Ababio said “Letters or reminders written to her office on this issue have not been acknowledged, so we will no longer wait before taking the necessary action”.

He said though Government had promised to pass the bill before the end of 2011, nothing was done to fulfil the pledge and that the Council had still not received any indication that the bill would be passed when Parliament resumes sitting this year. Rev. Kusi-Ababio called on Government to take immediate action to prevent any negative consequence in the delay of the passage of the bill to developmental efforts in the country.

The Bill was laid before Parliament about two years ago, in accordance with the Education Act of 2008(Act 778), which provided the mandate for the 38 Public Teacher Training Colleges in the country to be upgraded to tertiary status and offer diploma certificates.
GNA

Education Is The Topmost Priority of NDC Government – Says Mills

President Mills has reiterated his government ’ s commitment to supporting education in the country.

He said education is the bedrock of every economy and that the government will support fully educational programs in order to change the lives of the people.

The president said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Upper West Regional Minister at the 2 nd congregation of the Wa polytechnic.

President John Evans Atta mills said education is the bedrock of every economy whether developed or developing and that that explained why education at all levels remains the topmost priority of the NDC government.

He said polytechnic education plays a very distinct role in national development because of its method of training which emphasises acquisition of hands – on skills and competencies that are essential for industry and community development.

He advised the graduates to use the knowledge they acquired at the polytechnic to help develop the communities they came from.

‘‘ As you leave the polytechnic in to the reality of life , remember that society which has invested so much in you would expect returns from you.

And these returns will be measured not only in the way you assist your community to identify solutions and the role you play in solving their problems but the quality of your solutions and the role you play in the moulding of the lives of the youth in which ever community you find yourselves ’’.

The Rector of the polytechnic Godwin Kwaku Sananu Aflakpui said the polytechnic has been structured in to four schools namely business, engineering , applied science and technology, and applied art , design and general studies of which three are operational except for the applied art , design and general studies.

Dr . Aflakpui hinted that it will be fully operational with the accreditation of at least the industrial art program since the department of liberal and general studies already operates as a service department.

He said the polytechnic has started the process for accreditation to introduce 4 new courses namely Industrial Art , Dispensing Technology , Cosmetology , and Banking and Finance.

He added that four other courses in Electrical / Electronic Engineering , Hotel , Catering and Institutional Management ( HCIM) , Purchasing and Supply and Fashion design and Modelling are on the backburner and would be initiated after mounting the three programs in line for accreditation.

On physical infrastructure , Dr . Aflakpui said they have benefited from the support of the Ghana education trust fund ( GETFUND) without which the polytechnic would still been operating from borrowed buildings.

He said work is progressing steadily on the library complex but with slight modification to enable the polytechnic comply with the provision of Section 6 of the Persons with Disability Act, Act 715 0 f 2006 , to make the library which is a public place accessible and available to use by persons with disability by providing an elevator.

The Wa polytechnic rector admitted that they have challenges with regards to funding of projects especially in the construction of a hall of residence for students which was awarded for construction in 2008 and was expected to be completed in February 2011 but is still not completed .

‘’ Contract for construction of one of residence for students was awarded in January 2008 to be completed in February 2010 at a cost of 5 , 226 , 416 . 14 cedis.

The contract was terminated was terminated as a result of abysmal progress by the contractor. Current estimate to enable us re – award the contract show that we need 13 million cedis to complete the construction ’’

He added ‘’the implication is that even if we stop all activities, and using the allocation for 2010 of 1 , 381 , 000 cedis benchmark , with all things been equal , we need 10 years allocation in two years to complete the hall of residence from where the first contractor left ’’

Dr . Aflakpui said due the challenges in funding projects at the polytechnic , the contractors who are constructing ten staff accommodation units awarded in October in 2008 have sent a joint petition to the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited( AESL ) Consultant to revise the original contract sum of 2 , 983 , 160 . 24 upwards.

In all 440 students were conferred the higher national diploma ( HND ) , 180 of which completed their programs in 2009 and the remaining 260 completed in 2010.

Story by Rafiq Salam/Joy News /Wa

Yilo Krobo TEWU Gives Fair Wages Commission May 9 Ultimatum . . .

Members of the Yilo Krobo District branch of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union ( TEWU) are threatening to go on strike by May 9 2011, if Government through the Fair Wages Commission fails to renew their collective bargaining certificate.

They are also calling on government to pay risk and other allowances to all non -teaching staff . Speaking at a press conference at Somanya in the Eastern Region, the District Chairman of TEWU Jonathan Sangber -Dery said the group demands current information on the daily minimum wage negotiation and how it fits into the Single Spine Pay Policy.

The group is further calling on government to revisit the grading and placement system of the Single Spine Salary Structure.

Jonathan Sanbger -Dery called on the national executives of TEWU to step down from their positions and make way for fresh hands, adding that the group needs individuals who cannot be easily influenced by persons of higher authority , and will be committed to working effectively to the benefit of all members of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union ( TEWU).
Story by Benjamin Henaku , Somanya.

Poor Performance of Ashanti Public Schools Worrying – Says Minister

The Ashanti Regional Minister , Dr Kwaku Agyemang -Mensah , has complained about the poor academic performance of public basic schools in the region.

This development was forcing many parents to withdraw their children to private schools. Available statistics shows that 36 per cent of public Junior High Schools ( JHS ) in Ashanti scored zero percentage pass in the 2010 Basic Education Certificate Examination ( BECE ).

Dr Agyemang -Mensah raised the concern at the opening session of the region ’ s two -day education sector annual review in Kumasi.

It was attended by educationists, traditional rulers, District Chief Executives ( DCE ) , clergy , assembly members and other stakeholders.

The meeting discussed challenges facing education and ways to tackle them , as well as information sharing and capacity strengthening in education management at decentralized levels.

Dr Agyemang -Mensah said there was the need for all to accept to do their bit to help ensure effective teaching and learning.

He also urged education planners in the region to make sure that those with physical disabilities have access to second cycle education.

Mr Asamoah Duodu , Director of Education , in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training ( TVET) , said through the United States Agency for International Development ( USAID ) funded Basic Education Scholarship Programme ( BESP) , 3 ,235 needy girls and pupils were provided with financial support.

In the Bole and Gushiegu districts, he said 80 girls each were offered bursaries while 336 girls in Bunkpurugu /Yunyoo district benefitted.

Nana Adomako-Ansah, Ankaasehene , deplored the widening education gap between the urban and rural communities , in terms of access , quality , infrastructure and supervision.

He therefore appealed to the Ghana Education Service ( GES ) to help address these.
Source: GNA

Ghana School Feeding Programme To Re-Target Beneficiaries

The Ghana School Feeding Programme ( GSFP ) Secretariat is to take schools in affluent urban communities off the programme , in order to maximize its availability to pupils in poor rural areas.

Mr Francis Y. Agyarko , Deputy National Co – ordinator of the GSFP , announced this at a sensitization workshop for media practitioners in Ho on Saturday.

Mr Agyarko explained that “re – targeting ” was necessary to correct flaws in the initial stages of the implementation of the Programme, which went counter to its pro -poor principle.

He explained that one of the strategic principles underpinning the GSFP was to “provide one hot, balanced , meal each school going day to school children in most deprived districts and communities.

” Mr Agyarko urged the media to help educate communities who might oppose the “re – targeting “.

He said the GSFP , which was suspended due to sponsorship difficulties would reach the set target by the end of this year.

Mr Agyarko said consultants would undertake evaluation and redesigning of the Programme to give it a complete “metamorphosis. ”

He said the Programme has proved very beneficial and needed an Act of Parliament to back its establishment to guarantee continuity.

Mrs Sarah Agbey, a facilitator at the workshop , said a “Social Accountability” component has been introduced into the GSFP , to ensure that duty bearers were accountable to the public in the implementation of the Programme.

She said : “the overall goal of the Social Accountability project is to enhance effective and efficient implementation of GSFP through improved social accountability to increase interest , ownership and responsiveness of local stakeholders . ”

Mrs Agbey asked the media to show interest in the implementation of the Programme.

She appealed to journalists to seek explanations concerning the Programme with the appropriate authorities rather than rushing matters to the public domain.

Mrs Agbey said that news about the Programme must seek to win donor confidence adding ” The motive behind such stories should be constructive “. Mrs Irene Messiba of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, focal person of the GSFP , said the National Secretariat of Programme ” is developing proposals ( different options) for government ‘ s consideration. ”

She said the Programme was not designed to enrich the local caterers but to benefit the pupils and address rural poverty.
GNA