Category Archives: Education

Teacher trainees angry over gov’t’s reluctance to pay their teachers’ arrears

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Students of two Colleges of Education in the Central Region on Thursday staged a demonstration to push government to pay the salary arrears of their striking teachers so they return to the classrooms.

Teachers of the colleges across the country have for the past two weeks refused to teach trainees to protest government’s reluctance to pay them their salary arrears and resolve other issues of conditions of service.

Though government, represented by the Ministry of Finance, urged the teachers to return to the classrooms as processes are underway to pay them their salary arrears and resolveother matters, but the teachers turned down the request.

READ: CETAG, Gov’t meeting end in deadlock; strike continues

But teachers, who form the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG), have demanded that government officially states in clear terms, the payment date for the arrears. The teachers proposed the end of November 2017 as the payment date.

The current strike has affected academic work and the students fear it would negatively impact on them, something that pushed them to join their teachers in demanding that government resolves all issues at the centre of the strike.

Wearing red bands, students of the Ola College of Education and the Fosu College of Education hit the streets Thursday, our correspondents reported.

Thomas Vincent Cann reported from Cape Coast that the students appealed to government resolve the salary and arrears owed their teachers for them to return to the class room.

They said they have been in school without lessons for the about two weeks a situation that they say has been worrying.

Deputy SRC President of Ola College of Education, Marian Fynn said: “It is unfortunate that, the budget that was presented to parliament didn’t include the concerns of our teachers,” adding “we are wondering when they will have the issue resolved for them to come to the classroom”.

She said they have exams to write, noting “we can’t do all the studies on our own to pass the exams so government should please hear our plea and get us our teachers back for us”

From Fosu, Kwame Kakraba reported that  the SRC President of Fosu College of Education, Prince Attuah Akonner said the teachers refusal to teach them was seriously affecting them.

“We are so disappointed in this government,” he said, noting that the 2018 Budget presented to Parliament Wednesday failed to touch on the issue of their teachers.

By 3news.com|Ghana

Minority vindicated on concerns on Free SHS funding gaps

By | Education | One Comment

Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority in Parliament on Wednesday said it has been vindicated by government’s move to establish a special fund to support the Free Senior High School Policy.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, told the media that they had been vindicated based on their earlier concerns raised on funding gaps in the Policy if government was to rely on petroleum receipts alone.

Mr Iddrisu was interacting with the media after Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, presented the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy Statement to Parliament, in Accra.

The Finance Minister told Parliament that the Government would establish a special fund to ensure voluntary contributions from the public towards supporting educational institutions and the Free SHS, in order to facilitate inclusive education for all children of school going-age.

In addition, he said, government would absorb the registration fees of all candidates who would write the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) in 2018.

Mr Iddrisu, however, said in view of the huge financial demand for funding the education Policy, government could not have relied on petroleum receipts alone considering the unpredictable petroleum prices on the world market.

He said in 2016, government’s petroleum receipts was around 93 million dollars, far below government’s projections, therefore, the move to solicit for contributions from the public hinged on the concerns raised by the Minority side.

Commenting on some macroeconomic indicators mentioned by the Finance Minister as achievements by government, Mr Iddrisu said the statistics Mr Ofori-Atta relied on gave course for concern because they included figures from June, September and October, therefore making it difficult to accept the authenticity of those statistics.

The Minority Leader noted that some of the economic targets set by the Government for 2018 was unrealistic and should be careful raising the expectations of Ghanaians, saying; “Politics is expectation management”.

He added that government failed to provide budget estimates for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which call for concerns.

Mr Ofori-Atta, in the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy, raised the expectations of most unemployed youth by promising to create 100,000 jobs for the unemployed graduates through the “National Builders Corps,”  sanitation programmes and revenue mobilisation among other initiatives.

The Finance Minister also announced that 250,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created through the 191 enterprises that would be established under the One District One Factory Programme next year.

In addition, each of the 216 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies would be given two million dollars under the One Constituency One Million promised in the New Patriotic Party Manifesto, which would create more employment opportunities.

Mr Ofori-Atta gave the assurance that government would consolidate the macroeconomic indicators made so far by reducing the budget deficit from 9.4 per cent to 6.8 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ensure GDP growth of 5.4 per cent, reduce the inflation rate to a single digit, reduce electricity tariffs by 13 per cent for residential and non-residential areas, as well as guide fiscal space for government to invest in physical infrastructure that would propel economic growth.

The Budget presentation to Parliament is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.

READ ALSO: 2018 budget: Ghanaians to contribute to Free SHS funding

Source: GNA | Ghana

Patrick Awuah has won an international prize for founding an innovative university

Patrick Awuah: From $50 in his pocket to $500,000 prize

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Patrick Awuah has won an international prize for founding an innovative university

Patrick Awuah has won an international prize for founding an innovative university

The founder of a university college in Ghana and campaigner to raise the quality of higher education in Africa has won a major global education award.

Patrick Awuah left Ghana in the 1980s with “$50 in his pocket” to take up a scholarship in the US.

But after a career with Microsoft, he returned to found Ashesi University College, and has now won the Wise Prize, worth $500,000 (£380,000).

Mr Awuah said there was an “urgent need” to improve education in Africa.

The prize, awarded at the World Innovation Summit for Education in the Gulf state of Qatar, was in recognition of Mr Awuah’s work as founder of Ashesi University College.

‘Ethical leaders’

The private, not-for-profit college was intended to help develop a new generation of leaders for Ghana and other African countries.

After working and studying in the US, Mr Awuah had decided to create a university in his own country to fill what he saw as a gap in institutions which had an “ethical mindset”.

Ashesi University

Ashesi University has emphasised the importance of ethics and entrepreneurship

Ashesi opened with 30 students in 2002 and is now teaching about 800 students on a campus outside Accra.

Mr Awuah said that the university provided a “broader perspective” than simply studying for a qualification for a job.

“We started with the idea of ethical leaders and entrepreneurial leaders.”

Students were encouraged “to ponder the big questions about what kind of country we want”.

About half of the university’s intake of students are on scholarships, half are women and they come from 18 African countries. All students have to study ethics and entrepreneurship and have to perform some community service.

Mr Awuah told the BBC he wanted to see more collaboration to raise standards in African universities.

“What we’re trying to achieve is a network of high-quality institutions in Africa – and to be more intentional about teaching future leaders.

“Not just political leaders, but judges, doctors and teachers – the people who will influence other people.”

Falling behind

There was also a need for more investment in higher education, he said.

“If we are to lift the continent up, we need to educate great scientists and engineers.

“We need to link with other universities around the world.”

Ashesi University

Mr Awuah wants to build a network to raise higher education standards across Africa

International education targets, such as in the millennium development goals, tended to focus on tackling the gaps in primary and secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa, rather than university level.

And there have been warnings of a lack of investment in the university sector in Africa.

In the most recent QS World University Rankings, there were only five universities from Africa in the top 500, with three in South Africa and two in Egypt.

“This is a crucial moment for Africa. Today, one out of six people on Earth lives in Africa, and this is set to rise to one in four by 2050. We urgently need to boost the education system in Africa,” said Mr Awuah.

The prize was presented at the Wise education summit in Doha by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairwoman of the Qatar Foundation.

Previous winners have included Sakena Yacoobi, for her work protecting education in conflict zones in Afghanistan; Ann Cotton for supporting education for girls in Africa and Vicky Colbert, for providing education for disadvantaged communities in Colombia.

Source: BBC

Free SHS impacts lives in Assin, hawkers return to school

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File picture

Notwithstanding the barrage of infrastructural challenges, apprehensions and frustrations that characterised the implementation of Government’s free Senior High School (SHS) policy, the story has been that of joy and excitements for traders and hawkers at Assin in the Central Region.

Before the implementation of the policy, the phenomenon of children hawkers selling sachet water (pure water), toffees among other items was a common sight.

However, since the policy came into fruition barley two months ago, the major markets and commercial towns such as Assin Praso, Breku, Fosu, Akropong-Odumasi where many of them were plying their trade in the Assin North Municipality was now history.

The story was no different in the Assin South District where many of these hawkers found in major towns including Nyankomasi, Darmang, Manso, Andoe, Nsuta and Edubiase have disappeared.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, some parents said “the children were selling those things to help us raise monies to finance their education, but with the free education, they are all in school.

The obviously excited parents said formerly, they had no choice than to let their wards support their trading activities sometimes during classes hours because they could not finance their schooling.

Nineteen-year-old Bright Osei, who sold varieties of items including pure water at Nyankomasi market confirmed the observation to the GNA saying ” I was selling pure water to help my parents raise money to further my education but I have stopped selling because my education is now free”.

Osei is a General Arts student of Aggrey Memorial Zion School, a grade ‘A’ SHS in the Cape Coast Metropolis.

Some of the hawkers have gained admission to Assin Manso and Obiri-Yeboah Senior High Schools.

The elated student thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffu-Addo for sticking to his campaign promise of implementing free and compulsory SHS education to enormously remove the increasing education financial burden on parents.

He said: “Had it not been free education, it would have taken me between two to three years for me go to school. My family and I are sincerely grateful for this privilege”.

Source: GNA | Ghana

2018 budget: Ghanaians to contribute to Free SHS funding

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Government has announced its intention to establish an education fund to finance government’s flagship policy, the Free SHS programme.

Individuals who want to contribute to the success of the Free SHS policy would be able to make monetary contributions to the fund, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed.

Presenting the 2018 budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday, the minister said government has received proposals from people willing to make “voluntary contributions” to support the policy.

“In 2018, the Ministry will work with GETFUND to set up this education fund to enable Ghanaians make voluntary contributions to support education.”

Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that the GETFund Law allows for the setting up of such education-related funds.

Absorbed fees

Government absorbed all fees approved by the Ghana Education Service Council for 353,053 first year students made up of 113,622 Day students and 239,431 boarding students when the policy took off in September this year.

Beneficiary students in boarding house were given three square meals whilst day students enjoy one hot meal each day. Government also provided free text books to the students under the policy among other interventions.

The new policy increased enrollment and funding for the policy is expected to increase from GHs400 million to about GHS1.2 billion in the 2018/19 academic year.

President Nana Akufo-Addo early this year revealed that the Free SHS programme would be funded with revenues from Ghana’s natural resources, especially oil.

As concerns grow over sustaining it with the revenue from the oil sector, government has accepted proposals to enable everyone contribute to sustain the policy.

By Isaac Essel |3news.com| Ghana

Free SHS gets GHC1.2 billion in 2018 budget

By | Education | No Comments

The government plans to allocate some GH¢1.2 billion to the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme in 2018.

The amount is three times higher than the GH¢400 million that was allocated to the programme in its first year of implementation in 2017.

Next year’s allocation is to be announced Wednesday, when the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presents the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy Statement to Parliament.

The amount is expected to benefit over 100,000 students compared to this year, when the GH¢400 million catered the needs of some 424,092 students.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said the implementation of the Free SHS policy was to break the gap between the educated elite and the illiterate poor, by enabling poor children in society to attain some level of education.

The policy is one of the government’s flagship programmes meant to support the socially vulnerable.

Its implementation will represent a landmark victory for the government, given that it featured prominently in the lead up to the 2016 general elections, which brought the New Patriotic Party to power.

Although the president has repeatedly said the Free SHS policy will be funded from oil resources, it is not clear if next year’s allocations are drawn entirely from revenue accrued from oil and gas.

Source Graphic Online

Treasure Kids Newspaper launches ‘Sponsor A School’ project

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As part of its first anniversary celebration, Treasure Kids Newspaper has officially launched its flagship literacy program called ‘Sponsor a School’ (SAS) at the Christian Home School in Dansoman, Accra.

The SAS programme was setup to give back to society where individuals (old students, etc), philanthropists or corporate institutions invest in education by adopting one or two schools and donating copies of TKN to encourage reading amongst children.

Chichi Yakubu, CEO of NyoNyo Essentials, pioneered the project by signing up to donate 500 copies to her alma mater (Christian Home School) every month for one year.

“I truly believe in the power of reading in transforming lives and bridging the gap between the privileged and less privileged. Once upon a time, I was just like these little ones and so I want to give back by investing in their education in my own small way,” she said. 

She also encouraged everyone especially corporate Ghana to adopt this initiative and help change societies; One edition at a time.

The CEO of Treasure Kids Newspaper, Precious Bonsu, reiterated the importance of reading and how beneficial it is to start them young.

“We are very grateful to Mrs. Yakubu for her generosity and we are using this opportunity to call on all to support this project by investing in our future leaders,” she said.

She also seized the opportunity to thank sponsors who have been on the programme since its inception in January namely; Jason Boateng, Carpo Ltd; Dr Mahmoud, Focos Orthopaedic Hospital; Kojo Ansah, Mobus Property; Abdul Haqq Adamu, Wofaz Automobile; and Mr. Akunor, Cummins. 

The Headmaster and teachers of the school also advised the students to take their studies seriously and to cultivate the habit of reading everyday, every time and everywhere.

Treasure Kids Newspaper, is a fun and vibrant monthly publication for children ages 6 to 14 years, packed with news and current affairs, quizzes, puzzles, English and Math Lessons, science, French and history.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Add History to core subjects in school – Kojo Yankah

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Former minister of state and founder of the African University College of Communications, Kojo Yankah has called on government to prioritise the study of history in school.

“Let me draw your minds to what happens in our schools. History is NOT a core subject; so what statement are we making? That Our History, let alone the history of Africa, is not important. This is a dark blot on our development as a people.”

He was speaking at the launch of the 2017 Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) Literary Awards where he underscored the importance of documenting Ghana’s history and that of the entire African continent.

Mr. Kojo Yankah further emphasized the relevance of reading which he believes is a necessary requirement at all levels, especially in expanding one’s knowledge base and vocabulary.

“Reading improves writing skills and stimulates the mind; but for God’s sake, let us read our history, preferably written by Africans, and books and materials that empower us and make us more confident as Africans! At the end of the day, you are called an African writer,” he added.

Speaking on the theme “Educating a nation through reading”, Mr. Kojo Yankah charged writers to write because there is a message to share and enlighten society with, and desist from writing just for gaining recognition.

He pledged his support for the Ghana Association of Writers, and committed an amount of GHs20, 000 to set up a GAW award in 2018.

The GAW Literary Awards 2017 would be opened partly to best writings with an African message, and partly to winners in a Reading competition that encourages reading African books.

By Irene Amesimeku |3news.com| Ghana

[Video] Lying and squatting to learn; the dilemma of Kulkpong pupils

By | Education, Special Reports | No Comments

They attend school everyday hoping for a conducive environment for studies, but that is a mirage for the pupils of kulkpong Primary School in the Upper West Region.

For these pupils, sitting on a desk to have their lessons is a luxury they cannot afford, hence they uncomfortably sit, lie or squat on the floor for hours to listen to their teachers and do classwork daily.

Watch the full report of the dilemma of the pupils reported by TV3’s Bright Nana Amfoh on Mission; a development-oriented news programme on TV3 sponsored by Star Ghana with support from DANIDA, UK Aid and the European Union.

By 3news.com|Ghana

We’ll boycott teachers’ award if … – TEWU threatens

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General Secretary of TEWU, Augustine Karbo

The Teachers and Education Workers’ Union (TEWU) says it would be compelled to boycott the 2018 World Teachers Day celebration in Ghana if the Ghana Education Service (GES) continue to sideline them in the teachers’ award scheme.

According to TEWU, which comprise of non-teaching staff within the GES, since the celebrations began in 1995, none of its members has been placed in the top three categories of the awards

It claimed that its members are generally given low positions or sometimes are not recognized at all in the award scheme.

The group emphasised that the teaching and learning in schools are not only the preserve of teachers but TEWU inclusive.

Currently, the growing anger among its members indicates it will not participate in the October 5, 2018 celebrations.

The union says, it will petition the Ghana Education Service to consider these grievances or risk facing their wrath.

“Our proposals will indeed meet the consideration of the committee that is always set up to look at the schemes and award for the working people. If that is not done, it may be early to threaten but they shouldn’t be surprised if we are not part of the world teachers’ day in 2018 going forward,” General Secretary of TEWU, Augustine Karbo, said.

Meanwhile, Mr Karbo said since their migration unto the single spine pay policy, out of the 22 classifications, their members are benefiting from only 11.

He said the Union has since 2011 fought for the remaining 11 classifications but has been unsuccessful.

“A non-teaching staff who goes to do first degree in Accounting, first degree marketing, auditing and when it comes to placement on the Colleges of Education, you’re placing the teacher above non-teaching [staff]. For whatever reason, we cannot understand,” Mr Karbo told TV3.

In another development, TEWU has lauded government for considering the need to revert mission schools to their original owners.

“I believe the missions have what it takes to manage the schools. They have what it takes to instill real discipline in our children and in the training of the future leaders of this country. We as teachers educational workers union, we support that idea,” he said.

By Daniel Opoku|TV3|3news.com|Ghana