GES Consoles Parents Of KUMACA

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has expressed its condolences to the parents and families of the deceased students of the Kumasi Academy.

A statement issued by the GES and signed by the Director of Public Relations, Rev Jonathan Bettey said, “The Service is shocked and saddened at the report from the school over some eleven students having lost their lives with over forty others hospitalised and made to seek medical attention.”

“We are, by this statement, registering our grief over the development and assuring all parents and members of the general public of our resolve to work with other relevant agencies and stakeholders, including Ghana Health Service, in order to find a lasting solution to this unfortunate occurrence,” the statement said.

Eleven students of the Kumasi Academy Senior High School have died since April.

Four of the victims died subsequently, causing fear among students, school authorities and parents, some of who rushed in to the school to take their wards home.

The Health Minister, Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu on Thursday confirmed that laboratory investigations by the Noguchi Memorial Institute into the strange deaths tested positive for the Influenza Type-A H1N1 2009 pandemic strain.
 
 
 
 
Source: Daily graphic
 

 

Govt To Introduce Computer Programming In Education Curricula

From next academic year, the government intends to make computer programming part of the curriculum at all levels of education.

That is meant to empower students of all ages to develop applications that can help provide solutions to the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) needs, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced.

She said the Ministry of Communications was actively working alongside the Ministry of Education to make institutionalisation of coding possible, as that would give children the opportunity to experience a new world at a very early age.

“Institutionalisation of coding will give children the chance to compete with other children globally,” she said at the opening of the conference of IT start-ups in Accra on Tuesday.

Platform

Organised by AB2020, a technology business advocacy company, with the support of the Communications Ministry, the conference provided a platform for the discussion of opportunities and policies, as well as linked tech entrepreneurs to potential investors.

The two-day conference brought together the government, private sector and small and medium-scale enterprises (SME) communities to highlight activities, innovations and opportunities for collaboration, and to encourage the development of Ghana tech ecosystem.

“We are also developing ICT parks to promote entrepreneurship, attract private investment and enhance ICT research and development.

“Our aim is to encourage the transfer of knowledge and development of human resource capacity to meet the increasing digital demands of the country and to boost youth employment,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said.

With the government turning to ICT to formalise the economy through initiatives such as the National Property Address System, the Ghana Card and the Paperless Port system, as well as e-government portals, the minister said technology was the most important enabler of the world today, as it was the very force that pushed the economy through innovation, change and economic development across the continent.

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One-child, one-laptop

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said although the 2018 budget had no allocation for the provision of laptops to students, she said the government would find money to make one-child, one-laptop a possibility.

“The ministry will make it a point to provide one laptop, tablet or device to every school-aged child in Ghana, to enable them to experiment, explore or learn more about technology,” she said.

She stated that the rapid and sustainable long-term growth of the economy, to a very large extent, was dependent on local businesses and tech start-ups.

The minister, however, noted that a lot of start-ups failed to grow due to the absence of research, development avenues and poor financial resource to build on innovations.

She reiterated the government’s commitment to invest in local businesses and SMEs by designing a comprehensive policy that would grow those businesses.

Collaboration

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated that development and innovations for tech start-ups could be realised through effective collaboration between partners, both in the same sphere and from other sectors.

To birth Ghana’s version of Silicon Valley, she said, the government intended to build technology parks and hubs around the country, starting from Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.

Registration of businesses

Contributing to a panel discussion, the Head of IT of the Registrar General’s Department, Mrs Doris Ampadu-Ameyaw, said the department had simplified business registration and, therefore, the days when prospective business owners had to join long queues to register their businesses were over.

She explained that as a result of digitisation and technological advancement, business owners could sit in the comfort of their homes and register their businesses.

Tech revolution

For his part, the Chief of Staff of the Vice-President, Mr Augustine Blay, urged the tech start-ups to take advantage of the country’s tech revolution, particularly the National Digital Property Address System, to develop their businesses.

With the Accra Digital Centre opened for business, the Managing Director of the centre, Mr Ofosu Nkansah, said it had incentives, including cheaper rent and advisory services for tech start-ups.
 
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic

 

GNAT Warns GES Against Wrongful Transfers

  The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has expressed unhappiness about the manner in which the Ghana Education Service (GES) was transferring teachers without their transfer grants.

The Association said it continued to receive complaints from teachers that they were being compelled to fill a “weaver of T and T” form to go on transfer, while they had not made any request to be transferred.

The situation GNAT viewed as a blatant violation of the collective agreement and the regulations governing transfers, adding that “transfers must be done with all humility and fairness”.

Consequently, GNAT has sounded a word of caution to the GES to desist from such practices because it could amount to huge judgment debt.

Mr William Abedi Boadu, Central Regional Secretary of GNAT, who expressed these sentiments in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, advised that in the expected transfers, GES should ensure that funds were secured to pay the legitimate entitlements of the affected teachers to bring about a smooth exercise.

He said while the employer had the right to deploy employees to where their services were most needed, employees’ right to claim their legitimate entitlements should not be stifled.

“Ambiguous statements like ‘T and T’ to be borne by the teacher and re-imbused as and when funds are available as stated in most of the transfer letters are not acceptable. The rights thing must be done. Directors must respect the regulations governing transfers,” he said.

Mr Boadu said GNAT had received summon letters from lawyers of affected teachers, stating that the transfers of their clients were not done in good faith, describing the trend as "worrying".

He said the concerns raised by GNAT followed previous failure by the GES to pay teachers legitimate entitlements.

He advised teachers to take advantage of the system opportunities to empower themselves to be able to fight for their rights.
 
 
 
 
Source: GNA
 

 

New Education Policy Coming

Government plans to roll out new educational reforms with special focus on Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

President Akufo-Addo, who made the announcement, believes this will help achieve his government’s initial target of 60% science students in the country’s technical institutions.

He made this known on Saturday during a convocation and graduation ceremony at All Nations University College in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital.

He reiterated his government’s commitment to increasing the funding for research and development (R & D), indicating that in the short to medium term, one per cent of GDP would be devoted for that purpose.

Eventually, President Akufo-Addo said, this would be raised to 2.5% of GDP in the long term.

“R & D funds will be made available for all research activities in both public and private educational and research institutions. It will take some time, but I am convinced that eventually Ghana will reap the expected benefits of the policies that have been put in place to transform education,” he articulated.

He has since directed the Ministry of Education and the Ministry responsible for Science and Technology to draw up programmes to strengthen and upscale the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics right from the basic to the tertiary level.

Additionally, the president indicated that his government had drawn up very elaborate programmes and strategies to strengthen technical, vocational education and training (TVET) at all levels of the educational system.

“It is my conviction that TVET is one of the main strategic policies of government aimed at the development of Ghanaian human resources. The major objective of TVET is to prepare people for the job market so that they can be productive and be of use to themselves, their families and society at large,” he explained.

Commendation

President Akufo-Addo seized the opportunity to congratulate the university on its achievements saying, “I come here today with a sense of pride in view of your recent achievement in launching GhanaSat-I into space. Indeed, your achievement has put Ghana on the map of nations that are venturing into space.”

With the African Union (AU) about to set up a space agency for the whole of Africa, President Akufo-Addo revealed that he had directed the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to express strongly Ghana’s readiness to host the agency, and mobilise support to achieve that end.

“Clearly, I was motivated to take that decision partly as a result of your recent successful launch of GhanaSat-1,” he said.
 
 
 
 
Source: Daily Guide

 

Colleges Of Education Still Closed As Talks Over Arrears Fail

Dialogue between the government and striking members of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) yielded no result as the 38 colleges across the country remain closed.

The meeting, called by the government in an attempt to get the teachers to call off their strike, ended without any concrete assurance to CETAG.

Members of CETAG have been on strike since November 2, 2017, demanding the immediate payment of their nine-month salary arrears, allowances and market premiums.

CETAG is also seeking improved conditions of service.
A spokesperson for ETAG, Charles Amoah Adjei noted that the Finance Minister was noncommittal so far as their demands were concerned.
“…upon deliberations and consultations, we realised that the money cannot be paid instantly. So we are of the view that the government should commit itself by writing to tell us that we are going to pay the allowances by the end of November.”

The Finance Ministry representative, however, indicated the need for consultation with her superiors before any decision is taken.
“All that we told them was that we are waiting patiently for them to come out with a written document indicating that the arrears will be paid at the end of the month. When we get this, we will gladly move to the classroom. If not, we will continue with the strike.”
The National Labour Commission (NLC) has made pleas to CETAG to reconsider their decision to strike but to no avail.

CETAG has lamented that despite a directive by the commission asking the Ministry of Finance to pay the arrears within two weeks, its members are yet to be paid.

According to them, per the migration of the tertiary statuses of the Colleges of Education following the passage of the Colleges of Education Act 847 in 2012, the teachers were expected to be paid the salary difference between their previous salary levels and the new salaries from January to September 2016.
 
 
 
 
Source: The Finder