Accra, Jan. 27, GNA-Government has been advised to leverage public-private partnership to make internet accessible and affordable to students to enhance online learning in higher educational institutions.

The accessibility and affordability of digital infrastructure for all will address inequalities in the country’s educational system.

The recommendation was made at the end of this year’s New Year School and Conference on the theme: ” COVID-19 and Socio-economic Dynamics in Ghana.”

The conference recommended that policy initiatives at the state and institutional levels addressed educational challenges in deprived communities.

Touching on the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s economy, the Conference asked Government to introduce innovative ways of mobilising domestic revenue while cutting down on unnecessary expenditure and wastage in the public sector.

It also urged Government to improve on its data collection efforts to help with policy, targeting the future and saving resources for important sectors.

It urged the Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Mintstry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to identify emerging technologies with emphasis on local content and innovations to address COVID-19 challenges.

“The Ministry of Health should collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the health sector to provide continuous professional development in digital literacy and skills to healthcare workers to enable them to use these emerging technologies effectively.”

On Greening Ghana for Food and Jobs during the pandemic and beyond, the Conference urged Government to review its benchmark value reduction policy to exempt products that could be manufactured locally to push the country’s industralisation agenda.

That would enhance the competitiveness of local manufacturers.

“Government should involve the private sector to provide warehouse infrastructure in rural areas to deal with post-harvest losses and to improve the operations of the national buffer stock company.”

“Government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture should embark on an aggressive irrigation development programme and support its planting for Food and Jobs initiatives with greater attention to the Savanna and temperate regions,” the Conference recommended.

Focusing on local Government leading the way to sustainable communities in the era of COVID-19 pandemic, it called for a reversal of Govermeent’s directive to the Ghana Revenue Authority to collect property rates at the local level.

The Conference said property rates should be an integral part of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies’ revenue mobilisation efforts.

It noted that the land border closure to contain the spread of COVID-19 was worsening the country’s security management, resulting in the use of unauthorised entry points by West African nationals and Ghanaian accomplices.

The Conference, therefore, urged Government to replicate the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols at the Airport at the land borders to facilitate livelihoods of the marginalised.

It also recommended the design of psychosocial programmes on the individual’s resilience against COVID-19 pandemic as part of peace promotion for vulnerable groups in society.

On the private sector and the youth as engine of growth, the Conference asked Government to put in place a monetary policy regime that encouraged financial institutions to provide more credit facilities to the private sector at reduced interest rates.

This year’s conference is under the auspices of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana, on the theme: “COVID-19 and Socio-economic dynamics in Ghana.”

The event featured a youth school, which provided the platform for young people to deliberate on issues that concern them in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Topics discussed include: emerging technologies and innovations in healthcare delivery during pandemics, COVID-19 and global peace and security, and the gains of COVID-19 in education.

Since its inception in 1948, the Conference has been the flagship programme of the University, and attracts people from all walks of life to deliberate on topical issues of national and international interests and opens at the beginning of the year.

The recommendations will inform policy decisions and directions in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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