Category Archives: Education

Hall week celebrations postponed at UCC

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Acts of vandalism recorded at the Oguaa Hall of the University of Cape Coast has forced authorities to push back all hall week celebrations to allow for adequate security measures to be put in place.

The postponement is also to allow students who are “emotionally and psychologically traumatised” to heal and also ensure calm is restored, a statement issued by the management of the University explained.

Students from the Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana, Unity Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology as well as those from the Atlantic Hall of the University of Cape Coast clashed with those at the Ogua Hall of the same University.

some of the injured

The Ogua Hall students were said to have prevented those from the three halls who were attending the hall week of Atlantic from entering their hall, leading to the riot which also caused destruction to property.

The decision to postpone the hall week celebrations was taken at a meeting convened by the school authorities and attended by the Graduate Students Association of Ghana, Students Representative Council, JCRC executives from Casely Hayford and Oguaa Hall, hall masters and the Central Regional Police Command.

READ: [Video] The ‘Conti’ clash at UCC

Ogua Hall, which was expected to have its celebrations from Wednesday has been rescheduled to April 5, while that of Casely Hayford that has been scheduled for March 29, has been maintained

According to the statement issued by the Vice Chancellor office said management has resolved to take care of bills of the injured, and also restore all damaged properties to their original state within a short possible time.

“Students are therefore assured to go about their studies without any fear as police will be intensifying security until the situation becomes normal”, it concluded

By Thomas Cann|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

Atta Mills Memorial SHS population dwindles – MP

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Over 50 model SHSs were commissioned by the John Mahama-led government

Student population in the first senior high school (SHS) at Ekumfi Otuam in the Central Region has reduced, according to the Member of Parliament for Ekumfi Constituency.

Named after former late President John Evans Atta Mills, the community day SHS was commissioned in 2015.

But less than two years, the school population has reduced drastically.

Ekumfi MP Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe made the revelations on Onua FM’s Ghana Dadwene on Tuesday, March 21.

He said the school had over 450 students but the number has gone down to about 250.

And it is still going down, he stated.

The Deputy Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development noted that “it has gone down to about 250 and it is still going down because the people got disappointed”.

“They said it is free but they got there and realized they have to pay so parents got disappointed because the inhabitants cannot afford,” the MP added.

Mr. Ato Cudjoe noted that “they have no hostel facilities so students have to walk for several kilometers before they get to school since parents cannot afford to give money for their children for transportation”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

Seven Great Princess Academy students go traditional on Cultural Day

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Seven Great Princess Academy has organized a cultural day at its Dansoman campus in Accra for its students as part of efforts to instill in them Ghanaian Cultural values.

The cultural day is a celebration of various tribes, traditions and culture of the diverse students who are from the 10 regions of Ghana, African continent and Europe.

Students displayed their respective culture in various cultural activities including dancing, poetry recitals and display of traditional clothes among others.

It was a colourful atmosphere at the Dansoman campus of the school as the students took advantage of the maiden event to prove they are in tune with their traditions and culture, which in recent is being threatened by westernization and modernization in recent times.A number of the students expressed excitement about the cultural day, and expressed the hope that it is continued by the school authorities.

Modernity coupled with increasing interest in social media, according to the students, are corrupting the youth hence believe the cultural day is one of the surest ways to keep bring and keep them close to their culture and its values.

The Assistant Director of the school, Yvette Brown, has assured the students the event will be an annual affair, promising a mega one next year.

She thanked the students and the organisers for the commitment which ensured the event was successful.

Ms Brown said it was time for students to know their culture, adding events like the cultural day are the practical ways of making students know and understand their traditions and culture.

A Ga traditional group was awarded the best performers for the day.

By Nana Akua Amankwaa|3news.com|Ghana

Walewale Cluster of Schools closed down

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The Walewale D/A Cluster of Schools in the Northern Region have been closed down following a near clash between some residents, believed to be coming from the Walewale palace, and staff of the school on Monday March 20, 2017.

The affected schools are the Walewale D/A JHS “B”, the Walewale Primary B1 & B2, and the Walewale D/A KG.

A visit to the school Tuesday morning March 21, 2017 by 3news.com reveals a quiet atmosphere with no sign of pupils.

Classrooms have been locked with padlocks with no sight of a single pupil except the presence of teachers on the premises of the school who were awaiting the arrival of the West Mamprusi District Education Director Hajia Mase Sulemana who was scheduled to visit the school for a meeting.

Mumuni Musah, a School Management Committee member, aments that the lives of teachers and pupils are in danger.

“They came wielding sticks and dangerous weapons threatening the teachers, some even gave the teachers an ultimatum of 24hrs to vacate the school or get beaten up and this is just because they defended the school lands from a developer who has bought portion of the land from the Walewale-Rana Duundana Mahami Mutari”.

TV3 also gathered that in an attempt to save the lands, the School Management Committee petitioned the District Assembly and the Ghana Education Service but they are yet to respond.

The West Mamprusi District Education Director, Hajia Mase Suleman in an interview revealed the Chief of Walewale Duundana Mahami Mutari has issued notice to all encroachers to stop working on the land until further notice.

“We visited the Chief of Walewale to lodge a formal complaint and he told us that he has issued notice to all developers to cease working until further notice, he however denied giving out the land to the encroachers as purported by some section of the populace”.

Parents, Teachers Association of the school and Hajia Mase Sulemana have been meeting to resolve this incidence.

Hajia Mase however revealed teachers and pupils may return to school tomorrow Wednesday 22nd March 2017 but that will be determined by today’s meeting with stakeholders.

By Zubaida Ismail |3news.com|Ghana

Protecting the environment: INSPOCCE in focus

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Introduction

The task of providing quality education to students requires effective partnership and participation of all stakeholders, including donor bodies. This article does not have the métier to list all the organisations which are supporting the Ghana Education Service (GES) to deliverquality education to the Ghanaian child.

The author, however,calls for applausefor the World Education, Inc. (WEI), the Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves (GACC) and the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves (GHACCO), at least, for the sake of this write-up.In fact, they are working seriously with GES, the Ministry of Energy and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to develop what is called, “Integrated School Project on Clean Cooking Energy (INSPOCCE)”.

The essence of INSPOCCE is to imbibe in pupils the knowledge of using clean and efficient household cooking solutionswhich will protect the environment and improve livelihoods.

The rate of household-energy consumption in Ghana

According to the draft Teachers’ Manual on INSPOCCE (n.d.a), energy, although not being featured prominently in the Millennium Development Goals,has made undisputed contributions to human life and so has now been captured clearly among the Sustainable Development Goals.

The International Energy Agency, IEA (2011) says about 1.3 billion people lack electricity and 2.7 billion people relying on traditional biomass for cooking and heating with more than one-third of a household’s budget servicing fuel costs in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Having recognised the need for better access to affordable, sustainable and environmentally sound energy resources and services, the United Nations General Assembly declaredthe year, 2012, as an International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)bycalling on member states, including Ghana, to raise the awareness of citizens of the need to address energy issues and to promote action(s)that protect the environment locally and globally.

The Ghana Living Standards Survey (2014) informs that 72.8% of households use wood fuel and charcoal (that is; 41.3% on wood fuel and 31.5% on charcoal). It adds that 22.3% use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) with 43.6% and 35.8% of urban dwellers using charcoal and LPG respectively as their cooking fuels.

Reports also say over 52.7% of households in Accra alone use LPG compared to 28.0% of those in other urban communities with 74.8% of rural householdson wood fuels and 16.5% on charcoal.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (2015) believes that over 50% of wood fuel harvested globally satisfies household energy needs as developing countries contribute 75% of the harvested wood fuel to households for cooking, heating and for lighting.

Negative effects of using traditional biomass

Findings say the over-dependence on traditional biomass, such as wood fuel,for cooking, heating and lighting comes with its own challenges for the environment and human health.

The draft Peer Educators’ Session Manual on INSPOCCE (n.d.a) says the cooking method of using woody biomass as fuel has affected the health, environment and economic livelihoods of users, their immediate localities through national to global extents, and that, “The risk of female household members exposed to indoor smoke suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases or heart-related diseases is three times higher than those who are not. They risk higher rates of deaths from lung cancer. As a cultural practice, fuel wood collection and cooking responsibilities limit the women’s capacity to advance or do other things.”

Bond (2007) has estimated the use of traditional biomass for cooking to have accounted for 18% of the global greenhouse gas emissions with IEA (2006) also stating that, “Although the collection of fuel-wood does not directly cause deforestation because the branches are mainly collected from roadsides or agricultural lands, the production of charcoal from fuel-wood burning has been proved to exacerbate land degradation in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) informs that an exposure to household-air pollution contributes to 16,000 deaths per year in Ghana with the same condition also to blame for the annual loss of 502,000 disability-adjusted life years (according to DALY, a standard metric used by WHO to read the burden of death and illness from specific risk factors).

The high demand for fuel-wood leads to Ghana having one of the highest rates of deforestation in Africa. In addition, the environmental impact of traditional cooking methods includes air pollution, with over 16,600 deaths annually as a result of exposure to Household Air Pollution and more than 21 million people being impacted by exposure to HAP each year (WHO, 2014).

The INSPOCCEand the environment

INSPOCCE, which is being funded by GACC, started in September 2015 as a pilot project involving 2,000 junior high students, 50 teachers and 18,000 community members in New Achimota, Odumase-Amanfrom, Kutunse, Fise, Sapeiman, Pokuase and Akotoshiein the Ga West Municipality of Greater Accra Region.It targetsto reach more schools and communities in other parts of the country by August, this year, under an ongoing pilot extension programme.

The designers, partners and prospective implementers believe that by the time all field trialson the INSPOCCE project are completed, lessons learnt will have enhanced their chances of having to convince policy makers to consider incorporating the project into the basic school curriculum so as to help bring about the needed attitudinal changes in students, families and communities regarding clean-cooking solutions and household energy conservation practices.

Some seventeen officers of GACC and their collaborators, including the Curriculum Research and Development Division (CRDD) of GES, met recently at the GES Headquarters in Accra to review the progress of work on the INSPOCCE project with Mrs. Felicia Boakye-Yiadom, the Director of CRDD and acting Deputy Director-General of GES, as chairperson.

To make a shift from traditional cook-stove technology to a clean-cooking technology as a step towards protecting the environment and human health, a broad range of innovative cook-stoves, such as rocket cook-stoves, forced air stoves, Gasifier stoves, improved charcoal stoves, alcohol stoves, biogas stoves, electric stoves, LPG stoves, plancha stoves, solar stoves, panel solar cookers, box solar cookers and parabolic solar cookers with their fuel solutions like raw biomass, charcoal, ethanol, biogas, hydro-power, solar energy, wind and LPG,are being designed under INSPOCCE for the possible integration into the basic school curriculum.

It is, however, interesting to learn that of about 302 existing improved cook-stoves, only a few are available on the Ghanaian market as the INSPOCCE Peer Educators’ Session Manual (n.d.a) also thinks that the use of clean-cooking technologypromotes efficient combustion and reduces the concentrations of particulate matterof burnt fuels in the atmosphere.

There is the need for us to contribute to the strengthening of all policies, laws and plans, including the Ghana National Climate Change Policy, Renewable Energy Law, National Energy Plan, Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II, Ghana Sustainable Energy for All, National Policy of LPG Promotion and the National Electrification Scheme, so as to make them more responsive to our renewable energy requirements as a country.

By Anthony Kwaku Amoah

The writer is an educationist and public relations officer of Ghana Education Service.

E-mail: [email protected][email protected]

Oguaa Hall Week celebration in limbo after Friday vandalism

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The Oguaa Hall Week celebration is scheduled to begin Wednesday

The hall week celebrations of Oguaa Hall of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) may not begin on Wednesday, March 22 as scheduled.

Authorities at UCC have asked the Hall to wait for a decision before any move is made as regards the celebrations, Hall Master  Eyia Bediako told 3news.com’s Thomas Vincent Cann on Monday, March 20.

Clashes between members of the Hall and students from University of Ghana’s Commonwealth Hall and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s Unity Hall on Friday left one person paralysed and several others injured. They were said to have been stabbed.

The students from University of Ghana and KNUST were at UCC for Atlantic Hall’s celebrations.

Oguaa Hall students on Monday wore red and black attires to register their displeasure at the incident.

They say they will go ahead with their Hall Week celebration, notwithstanding.

“For now, that is the news. Until otherwise, it will be celebrated,” Mr Bediako re-echoed the views of the students.

But Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North Constituency, Barbara Asher Ayisi, who is a Deputy Education Minister-designate, has called for military deployment on campus to forestall any similar occurrence in future.

Visiting the University on behalf of Minister of Education Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ms Ayisi said she has had assurance from the school’s authorities that “thorough investigations” will be conducted and those found culpable will duly punished.

She observed that the situation is “getting worse and worse”, demanding the deployment of the military.

The Cape Coast North MP said security is required not only for the students but also for authorities whose residences are on campus.

She advised parents to take keen interest in the activities of their children especially what they do outside the academic curricula.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

‘You’ll never be alone’ – Veep Bawumia consoles Wenchi Methodist SHS students

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Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has visited the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School (WESS), which was hardest hit by last Sunday’s disaster at ground zero of the Kintampo waterfalls in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Eighteen persons – most of whom are students of WESS – lost their lives. Twenty-two others are receiving treatment at the Kintampo Government Hospital for injuries sustained.

On Monday, Dr Bawumia accompanied by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Catherine Afeku visited families of victims of the disaster.

The Vice President later in the evening addressed an assembly of students on campus.

He told them how emotionally stricken the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been since he heard about the disaster in Switzerland.

“I can assure you that he would have been here if he were here in Ghana,” Dr Bawumia, who is acting as President, said.

‘All things come from God’

He expressed sympathies to the students, saying: “I know many of you will find it difficult even sleeping as you think about your friends and what has happened to you.”

He assured: “You are not alone and you will never be alone. We will stand by you all throughout this period.”

The Vice President stated how close he feels to the school as it was established in 1963, same year he was born.

He asked the entire student body as well as teaching staff to take consolation from the motto of the school: ‘All things come from God’.

“Please, be strong for each other. Individually, we are all weak but when we come together we are very strong.

“So support one another, talk to one another and everything will be okay, the crying, the pains will ease.”

He assured that government will do all things possible to ease the burden on families of victims as regards the funeral and medical bills.

Also present at the school were the Brong-Ahafo Region Minister, Director General of the National Disaster Management Organisation, chaplain of the Hospital, Methodist Bishop of Kintampo Rt. Rev. Samuel Danso and General Manager of Methodist Schools Very Rev Mrs Naana Nyame.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Banda ‘xenophobic’ threat: Teachers given Friday for decision on return to post

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Most workers have abandoned their homes too at Banda

Pupils at Banda Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region will have to wait for another week before teachers can return to class for teaching and learning activities.

This is because after stakeholders met on Monday to deliberate on the issue and how teachers and other government workers will return after the xenophobic threat, the Ghana Education Service (GES) told the teachers to wait until Friday, March 24.

GES joined the security services and the Banda traditional authorities on Monday to decide on the appropriate time for teachers and other workers who fled the town to return.

Officials of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) took part in the meeting, which took place in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Government workers including teachers deserted their posts after a group calling itself Concern Members of Banda Ahenkro issued public notices, threatening mayhem on foreigners in the town, akin to the largely condemned recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa on persons considered strangers in the area.

Speaking on Onua FM’s Ghana Dadwene on Monday hosted by Nana Yaw Opare, the Headmaster of Banda Ahenkro Roman Catholic Junior High School, Jones Agyeman, said “we met with our bosses. The chief and the MPs were all there and the chiefs urged us to return and they will protect us”.

He added that after the meeting, they [teachers] “met their Regional Director of Education to also listen to our side of the issue and the director told us they will give us an update on Friday”.

“The Regional Education Director had to go to Kintampo so he told us to wait for until Friday,” he added.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana

C/R: NADMO closes down part of school over weak classroom blockt

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The kindergarten section of the Jacob Wilson Sey basic school at Bakaano in Cape Coast has been closed down by the National Disaster Management Organisation due to the dilapidated nature of the classroom building.

Assessment by officials of NADMO has revealed the building, which has become a deathtrap, is unfit for habitation as the walls and floor of the classrooms have developed cracks while a part of the roof has been ripped off.

The building is said to have been constructed 70 years ago, and has not seen any major renovation work. Parts of the concrete ceiling occasionally fall off but pupils always escape injury.

According to the chairman of the school’s Parent Teacher Association, Nana Kobina -Dekyie, several letters to relevant authorities, including the NADMO, Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly Assembly and the Ghana Education Service, seeking assistances have not received favourable response.

He wants the government and stakeholders to come to the aid of the school by constructing a new kindergarten block for them, noting it would be more costly to renovate the abandoned one.

Formerly known as Self Reliance, the kindergarten was merged with the Jacob Wilson Sey M/A Basic School in 2008 due to the new education reforms.

Currently, the kindergarten pupils numbering 74 have occupied the classrooms of primary 2 and 3 with others taking up spaces in the corridors, a situation that is making teaching and learning difficult.

Class two and three pupils are sharing one classroom, and are faced with ventilation problems.

The school lacks a library with well stocked books, an ICT lab or logistics, and the staff common room is not big enough to accommodate all the teachers, forcing some of them to use the corridors for marking and other activities.

It is also faced with the challenge from residents of Bakaano use the school as a thorough fare, refuse dump and openly defecate on the premises.

By Thomas Vincent Cann|3news.com|Ghana

Waterfalls disaster: Wenchi SHS students died rounding up two-day field trip –  headmaster

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The headmaster of Wenchi Senior High School, Foster Boateng has revealed that the visit to the Kintampo Waterfalls was not part of the initially agreed field trip by students of the school which ended in a disaster.

About 15 students of the school died and several others sustained injuries when disaster struck while they were having fun with other revelers at the Kintampo Waterfalls on Sunday.

According to the headmaster, the students were given approval by the school authorities to embark on a two-day educational trip to the three northern regions. He also got approval from the Municipal Director of Education and the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Education for the trip.

They left school on Friday, he said, to “learn of things they have learnt and reality on the ground”.

They went to the Upper West, Paga in the Upper East and concluded the sightseeing trip in the Northern Region, Mr. Boateng told TV’s Kofi Takyi on Monday.

He said when the students returned to the Brong Ahafo Region where the school is located, they decided to extend their excursion to the waterfalls.

Foster Boateng

“They decided to finish it all at the Kintampo Waterfalls, so some of the children decided to taste the swinging aspect of it.

“The trees started coming down so in an attempt to escape some of them fell and they were trapped by the trees. Those who succeeded in climbing the staircase up to pack into the bus got trapped…by other trees that had fallen down,” Mr. Boateng grieved.

The headmaster said all the 15 bodies were sent to the Wenchi Methodist Hospital morgue where parents were asked to identify their wards.

About 15 other students are now responding to treatment at the same hospital.

Meanwhile, Mr. Boateng said one student and a teacher of the school whose conditions were critical had been referred to the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

In all 18 people were confirmed dead in the disaster including 15 from the Wenchi SHS.

By Isaac Essel |3news.com|Ghana