Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr. Steve Manteaw, has suggested it would be an indictment on Ghana should the implementation of the free senior school policy fail.
Speaking at the Daily Graphic’s Dialogue on Education in Ghana at Takoradi in the Western region today [Friday], he said, Ghana is economically strong to implement the policy.
Using Uganda as an example, Dr Manteaw argued that, the population of our neighbour was 29.9 million when they started free secondary education hence; Ghana is better placed economically to implement the policy.
He said, In the year Ghana introduced free SHS, the population of Ghana was 27.41 million which means the Ghanaian population was lower than the Ugandan population. In terms of the economics, we are better placed to implement the free SHS than Uganda.’’
‘’A further comparison using a common baseline 2015, Uganda’s GDP in 2015b was 27.5 billion. In the same year, Ghana’s GDP was 37.5 billion…So how have they funded their free secondary education?
Dr Manteaw believes Ghana have taxes, oil, gold, diamond, manganese, and bauxite; and so if we cannot implement the free senior high school policy, it would be a serious indictment on us.
The dialogue seeks to promote stakeholder engagement and understanding of Free SHS and the Double Track System policies and to foster policy coherence and sustainability in Ghana’s educational sector. It is also aimed at inviting relevant recommendations to mitigate potential challenges that may be associated with the policy.
The dialogue was on the theme, ‘’Unpacking the Double Track System; Implications for Sustainable Financing and Prospects for Educational Quality in Ghana.’’
The free SHS policy was first rolled in September 2017. This was a major campaign promise by President Nana Akufo-Addo during the 2017 campaign.
“By free SHS we mean that in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fee, no library fee, no science centre fee, no computer lab fee, no examination fee, and no utility fee; there will be free text books, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.” President Akufo-Addo said in 2017 at the 60th Anniversary celebration and the Speech and Prize Giving Day of Okuapeman School in Akropong in the Eastern Region on the theme: “One Vision, Many Lives”.
The President said: “Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public senior high schools and cluster public senior high schools.”
A Ghanaian based in Germany, Kweku Nimo, has slammed Ghanaian leaders describing them as visionless.
Mincing no words, he said, Ghanaian leaders lack vision, are not patriotic but selfish, greedy and only assume power to amass wealth for themselves, friends and cronies.
In his view, Ghanaian leaders lack respect, have no regard for citizens and are only interested in what will profit their interest and not
He wondered why Ghanaian leaders would always go to other countries without natural resources for loans despite the abundant resources we have in the country.
''The countries we travel to for the loans, are not blessed with natural resources and so why should Ghana be begging for money in such countries?
In an interview on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said, Ghanaian citizens abroad are worried over the way and manner leaders in Ghana are running the country.
He indicated that, Ghanaian community abroad meet on regular basis and the issues that are tabled bothers on the lack of competence and mismanagement on the part of our leaders.
Kweku Nimo emphasised that our leaders are visionless. They lack vision.’’
Using the International Airport as an example he said, ''when you land at the Kotoka International Airport, the first thing you see is insulting. The workers are not well dressed. They do not received visitors well.’’
Systems in Ghana he lamented are not working with poor sanitation; a situation he noted is driving tourists away from the country.
Touching on the National Health Insurance Scheme, he said, after it was introduced, the scheme is suffering a number of challenges.
The Ghanaian who has stayed in Germany for years said, although leaders in the past have done their best, there is more room for improvement hence the need for leaders to have the zeal to transform the country.
On job creation he said, there are jobs abound in Ghana and the jobs are more than the sea sand. However, our leaders have not been able to create opportunities for the unemployed because they lack vision, direction and proper planning.
‘’We need leaders with vision. We don’t see leadership in our Ghanaian leaders. The people of the country don’t have leaders. You see children of school going age selling on the streets. You see mothers with their children struggling on the streets just to make ends meet. This is bad. This is not the best,’’ he decried.
He was speaking on the contribution of Ghanaians abroad through remittances.
Ghana bagged $2.2 billion from remittances in 2017 from a total of $38.4 billion that Sub Saharan Africa recorded, according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.
The country was joint second with Senegal which also earned $2.2 billion from remittances last year.
The largest remittance recipient was Nigeria with remittances of $21.9 billion. Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa accelerated 11.4 percent to $38 billion in 2017.
Kenya (US$2.0 billion), Uganda (US$1.4 billion), Mali (US$1.0 billion) and South Africa (US$900 million) placed 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
According to the World Bank, officially recorded remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached $466 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5 percent over $429 billion in 2016. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, grew 7 percent to $613 billion in 2017, from $573 billion in 2016.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive place to send money to, where the average cost is 9.4 percent. South Africa however is the costliest G20 country to send remittances from.
The global average cost of sending $200 was 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018, more than twice as high as the Sustainable Development Goal target of 3 percent.
Ghana Athletics Association has received an invitation to participate in a one day International Association of Athletics Federations (I.A.A.F) championship in Burkina Faso.
It is an invitation to all countries that have an intention to host an international tournament.
Ghana Athletics Association team will be represented by their two best athletes that is Sarfo Ansah and Jones Agyemang who participated in the 100 and 200 meters in the commonwealth games in Australia this year.
Speaking to Isaac Worlanyo Wallace on Rainbow Sports, Paul Tuffour who is the coach of the association indicated that, Ghana athletics association is under I.A.A.F and the I.A.A.F is made up of several countries such as morocco, Germany, England etc. You will be recommended when you perform well to train with other countries that are affiliated to I.A.A.F.
The coach of the association further said that it is their aim to win gold or other medals at the tournament since the competition will be hosted in Africa and we hope and believe we can make Ghana proud.
By: Isaac Mortey (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
Medical Staff at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) have threatened to withdraw all services if no prosecution is done with regards to the attack on the CEO by some youth few days ago.
The medical staff withdrew their services following the attack on Dr. Dr. David Zaawumya Akobila.
The prime suspect, Alhaji Baba Alhassan, who was arrested and arraigned before the Tamale Circuit Court has been granted GHc 10, 000 bail with three sureties.
Read Below the full statement
The Joint Statement on Withdrawal of Services at Tamale Teaching Hospital
We will strike after one week if no persecution is done
Following the recent events and happenings at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), the various Unions and Associations representing the staff of TTH rccognize the following;
1. The Chicf Executive Officer (CEO) has been safely restored to his office in dignity, and is able to go about his functions unimpeded.
2. The Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has given us assurances and demonstrated good faith by addressing most of our security concerns raised.
3. The Regional Police Command, in collaboration with the TTH Management, is working hard to establish a temporary security Post pending the building of a permanent one within the hospital in the nearest future.
4. The arrest of the spokesperson of the rogue group that invaded our facility.
5. The efforts of the Police in trying to arrest the remaining perpetrators.
6. The appeals by the Regent of Dagbon, the Chiefs of Tamale, members of the general public and Senior Retired colleagues to reconsider our position and return to work.
7. The appeal by Management of Tamale Teaching Hospital to return to work.
As a mark of goodwill, we make this concession to suspend the withdrawal of services at the hospital from 8pm 16th August 2018. All services in the hospital are restored except OPD and Specialist Clinics. The OPD and Specialist Clinics have started work on 17th August 2018 at 8am.
However, it is our hope that all the gains made so far shall not be eroded by any lackadaisical attitude by the REGSEC, the Police and the Management of the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
The remaining culprits must be found, apprehended and prosecuted within one week from the resumption of work. If not, we would advise ourselves.
Meanwhile, our members are advised to take care of their personal security at all times.
Dr. Michael Damah
Bugri Amos Adapalala, Pharmacy Staff
Sumani Abdul Aziz
Dr. Isaac Asimadu Mensah
MINISTER, NORTHERN REGION
REGSEC, NORTHERN REGION
The Ashanti Regional Chairman for the Small Scale Miners Association of Ghana, Frank Osei, has said, the road map outdoored by government towards the lifting of ban on their activities is nothing extraordinary or new.
In an interview with Rainbow Radio’s Kwame Tutu Friday, the executive member of the National Association of Small-Scale miners lamented the period used for drafting the road map.
The ban he decried has financially burdened members with some of them committing suicide because the loans they contracted, were due for repayment.
Some members he noted have lost their capital, marriage and other important things due to the ban placed on the small-scale mining.
He stressed, the approach used by government was not the best. It rather brought untold hardship on small-scale miners.
‘’We cautioned government over the ban. We told authorities our activities protected the depreciation of the cedi but our concerns were ignored and now look at the challenges we are being confronted with,’’ he added.
Per the conditions outlined by government, activities of prospecting companies engaged in bulk sampling and processing are to be halted; withdrawal of all military and para-military personnel from mining concessions who have gone contrary to laydown regulations; assessment of quality of water bodies (physical properties) and successful completion of vetting and verification of small-scale mining companies.
The vetting will be led by the IMCIM and supported by chiefs, stakeholder agencies and institutions such as the Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission, EPA, WRC and GGUMaT.
Successful vetted small-scale miners would be allowed to commence mining operations and also published in the national and private newspapers, radio and television stations and on the IMCIM's webpage.
But reacting to the vetting and verification, Mr Osei wondered why government have wasted the period before coming out with these outline.
He was of the view that, the period of the ban could have been used for the vetting and verification.
The drafting of the road map should not have delayed. It is obvious there could have been a proper way of handling the issue.’’
Government has outlined a roadmap towards the lifting of the ban on small-scale mining.
The list of all approved and prohibited equipment for small-scale mining to be cleared by the Minerals Commission, EPA and WRC.
Fabrication, transportation and use of ‘Chang Fan’ dredging/mining equipment for mining on water bodies to be banned.
Meanwhile, it is expected that, all earth moving mining equipment within mining districts to designated would be successful; registration and installation of tracking devices on earth moving mining equipment; sensitisation programme on the negative impacts of illegal mining activities and halt operational activities of large-scale mining companies who have gone contrary to laydown regulations.
The road map has been designed for illegal miners, small-scale miners, large-scale exploration (reconnaissance and prospecting), licence holders, large-scale mining companies who have gone to laydown regulations, gold buyers and exporters, owners of earth moving equipment, mercury importers and chiefs and members of the mining communities.
GalamSTOP (an App), drones, tracking devices to be used to monitor all illegal mining related activities.
15 satellite offices to be established within the various Minerals Commission mining districts. 540 mining guards to be deployed to the satellite offices by the Minerals Commission to help with monitoring.
The 2018 Chale Wote Street Art Festival is set to begin August 20-26 at James Town, Accra.
The annual event is an alternative platform
that brings art, music, dance and performance out of the galleries
and onto the streets of James Town, Accra.
The 2018 edition is the seventh edition and expected to bring together people from all walks of life that appreciate arts.
The first festival took place in July 2011, following a series of discussions about creating
DIY [do-¬it yourself] community projects by participants at our Talk Party Series.
The vision of the annual festival is to cultivate a wider audience for the arts in West Africa by breaking creative boundaries
and using art as a viable form to rejuvenate public spaces.
The CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival challenges both artists and community-¬based audiences to connect through art.
The festival includes street painting, graffiti murals, photo exhibitions, interactive installations, a food and fashion marketplace, live street performances, extreme sports, African film shows, street boxing, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more.
More than 200 Ghana-based and international artists take part in the event every year.
In 2016, over 30,000 people attended CHALE WOTE.
The event is organised by Accra [dot] ALT in partnership with Dr. Monk, AfroGallonism, and
the Millennium Cities Initiative – AMA Project Management Unit.
Police in south-western Tanzania have started arresting the residents of a village for vandalising some water pipes.
The arrest of the entire village of Ngola was ordered by the area's regional commissioner Albert Chalamila on Wednesday.
The residents are suspected of destroying a water facility worth about $20,000 (£16,000) in Masheye village, which is in a valley in Mbeya region.
Ngola is situated on a slope and does not have access to the water supply, which is thought to have angered the estimated 1,600 inhabitants.
Mr Chalamila told the BBC's Maximiliana Mtenga that the entire village should bear responsibility. A village councillor is among those arrested so far.
"I felt it was important for police to go there and make the arrests. In future they will protect public infrastructure."
He also said some of culpability lay with Masheye village.
"When we set up projects, we let the citizens protect them.
"Water committees in the villages are also responsible for protecting the project."
The police have permission to keep those arrested in detention for 48 hours before taking them to court.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has identified 1,500 people who have potentially come into contact with Ebola patients in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but says its staff cannot reach some areas because of the conflict.
During an Ebola outbreak it is critical for health workers to find all the people who may have come into contact with the virus - they are then carefully monitored each day in case they show symptoms including a high fever.
The WHO says there are potentially more cases in those inaccessible areas.
A WHO spokesman said 44 people have died during the current outbreak in North Kivu Province, a volatile area where various rebel groups are active.
Earlier this week the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened an Ebola treatment centre in Mangina, the small town which is the epicentre of the outbreak.
MSF says ongoing violence and displacement of civilians in the area are having a significant impact on the humanitarian response.
China's military "is likely training for strikes" against US and allied targets in the Pacific, a Pentagon report warns.
The annual report to Congress says China is increasing its ability to send bomber planes further afield.
The report highlights its increasing military capability, including defence spending estimated at $190bn (£150bn) - a third that of the US.
China has not yet commented on the report.
What else does the report say?
The warning about air strikes is one part of a comprehensive assessment of China's military and economic ambitions.
"Over the last three years, the PLA [People's Liberation Army] has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets," the report says.
It goes on to say it is not clear what China is trying to prove by such flights.
The PLA may demonstrate the "capability to strike US and allied forces and military bases in the western Pacific Ocean, including Guam," the report adds.
"The purpose of these reforms is to create a more mobile, modular, lethal ground force capable of being the core of joint operations," the report says.
China's military budget is expected to expand to $240bn over the next 10 years, according to the assessment.
It also highlights China's growing space programme "despite its public stance against the militarization of space".
In June, President Donald Trump announced his intentions to set up a sixth branch of the US armed forces - a "space force".
Where are the areas of tension?
The US is concerned about China's growing influence in the Pacific, where Washington still plays a major role.
One of the most high-profile areas is the South China Sea, much of it claimed by China and other countries.
The US military regularly seeks to demonstrate freedom of navigation by flying over the South China Sea.
China has been expanding what appear to be military facilities on islands and reefs in the area, and it has landed bombers on the outposts during training exercises.
Another flashpoint is Taiwan, which is seen by China as a breakaway province.
The document warns that China "is likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with China by force".
"Should the United States intervene, China would try to delay effective intervention and seek victory in a high-intensity, limited war of short duration," the report says.
In a nod to China, the US cut formal ties with Taiwan in 1979 but continues to maintain close political and security ties, which irks Beijing.
The US also continues to maintain a substantial military presence in Japan, which has its own territorial disputes with China and the Philippines.
Tensions also continue in the non-military sphere. The US and China have announced tariffs on a range of each other's goods.
What is being done to defuse tensions?
The Pentagon report is at pains to stress that the US "seeks a constructive and results-oriented relationship with China".
There is regular contact between US and Chinese military officials.
And in June, James Mattis became the first US defence secretary to visit China since 2014.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that the late JH Mensah, predicted the double track system which is expected to be implemented in the 2018/2019 academic year under the free senior high school.
In a tribute to the late former finance minister and legislator under former President John Agyekum Kufour, his brother in-law, the president said, JH Mensah called for the needed infrastructure in the education sector to allow the growing number of students have access.
The president in his tribute said, ‘’today, I can recollect, as if it was yesterday, his thoughtful observation that the country needed to find a way to employ the infrastructure of our schools, which lies dormant for nearly half of the year.
‘’JH, instinctively, pointed, over a decade ago, to the double-track system the nation is about to experience. That was the measure of the man, insightful and perceptive.’’
He further described the late JH Mensah as a man who was modest in living, disdainful of material things, his passion was for public weal, the public good, the public interest and the public matter.
Government has explained that the objectives of the double-track system are to create room to accommodate the increase in enrolment. Furthermore, it will reduce class sizes, it will increase the contact hours between teachers and students, and increase the number of holidays. All this, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be achieved with the existing infrastructure.
In the 2018/2019 academic year, which begins in September, four hundred and seventy-two thousand new students, i.e. an increase of some 31%, will be admitted into our Senior High Schools.
And in order to meet the number, government introduced the double-track system.
From September this year, the government will implement the double intake system for new entrants to public SHSs.
The system is a measure to address the growing number of students benefitting from the free SHS policy.
Despite providing 96,403 mono desks, 33,171 pieces of dining hall furniture, 3,033 tables and chairs for teachers, 12,953 bunk beds, 4,335 student mattresses and 5,135 computer laboratory chairs by the government to address the infrastructural deficit over the year, it has not been enough to address all issues of infrastructure in SHSs.
The 2018/19 academic year is expected to witness a 31 per cent increase in the population of new students, with about 472,000 entering SHSs, and which has resulted in a deficit of some 183,000.
The new system is expected to cost GH¢323 million to fully implement.
The cost comprises GH¢267.2 million as teaching cost and GH¢55.8 million for academic interventions.