Teacher motivation critical for quality education-MCE

Mr. Robert Yaw Kwakye, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Asante-Akim Central, has touted the role of teachers as indispensable in achieving desirable learning outcomes as a country. He said teacher motivation was, therefore, critical to quality education and that deliberate efforts must be made to encourage them give off their best. He told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that no investment in the education sector would yield results if the teacher was not motivated teach. The interview followed recognition given to selected teachers during the 66th Independence Anniversary parade held at the Konongo-Odumasi Senior High School to commemorate Ghana’s independence from British colonial rule. The beneficiaries were recognised for their outstanding performances last year to encourage other teachers to work hard for the collective good of education in the Municipality. Categories under which the awards were given included best early childhood teacher, best primary school teacher and best junior high school teacher. Also recognised were best performing school (urban), best performing school (rural), best performing basic school, best performing senior high, best BECE candidate, and best WASSCE candidate. Special awards sponsored by the Member of Parliament, Mr. Kwame Anyimadu Antwi and other philanthropists were also given to needy but brilliant students at both basic and secondary levels. The beneficiaries took home prizes such as fridges, television sets, clocks, footballs, and sets of jerseys as well as cash prizes. According to the MCE, the Anniversary Committee decided to reward the awardees as part of the celebration as a strategy to raise the standard of education in the Municipality. He said the Assembly as part of efforts to promote quality education was working tirelessly to provide adequate infrastructure in the education sector. He outlined numerous classroom projects currently ongoing across the Municipality and called on members of beneficiary communities to help maintain the infrastructures for posterity. The MCE thanked traditional leaders, the Clergy, Muslim leaders, teachers, students, and the public for their respective roles in the successful organisation of the parade.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Speaker attends Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference in Manama, Bahrain

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin is leading a high-powered Ghanaian delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference in Manama, Bahrain. A statement issued by the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament, copied to the Ghana News Agency said the 146th Assembly of the IPU and its related meetings were scheduled to be held in the Arab country from Saturday, March 11, to Wednesday, March 15, 2023. It said all IPU statutory bodies, including the Governing Council, Standing Committees, Committees on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and on Middle East Questions, as well as the Forum of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young MPs, would convene during this Assembly. It stated that the General Debate was expected to provide a platform for delegates to deliberate, exchange views and galvanize parliamentary action in fighting intolerance and promoting peaceful coexistence. The statement said the conference, on the theme ‘Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Inclusive Societies: Fighting Intolerance,’ would explore and share ideas and perspectives on strengthening democracy worldwide. It said Ghana’s parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker Bagbin comprises both leaders of the House, Majority and Minority Leaders, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, respectively. Also included in this delegation, the First Deputy Minority Whip Ahmed Ibrahim, and Second Deputy Majority Whip Habib Iddrisu. The rest are Madam Patricia Appiagyei, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa; Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, MP for Ketu South; Sheba Nana Afriyie-Osei, The Director of Parliamentary Relations and Protocol and Mr Richard Acheampong, Head of the Speaker’s Secretariat. It said the delegation would represent Ghana’s interests, including Parliament, in the Conference and related meetings. The IPU is the global organization of national parliaments, which was founded more than 133 years ago as the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. The IPU comprises 178 national Member Parliaments and 14 regional parliamentary bodies. It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced and more representative. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee of MPs worldwide.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NDC parliamentary aspirant promises to win Hemang Lower Denkyira seat in 2024

Mr Seth Agyapong-Mensah, an aspiring Member of Parliament (MP) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for Twifo-Hemang- Lower-Denkyira (THLD) Constituency, has promised to recapture the seat from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in election 2024. He said the constituency lacked development despite eight years in the hands of the NPP and it was time to unseat that party for the betterment and growth of the area. Mr Agyapong-Mensah made the pledge in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), stressing the need for his party to win the elections to change the fortunes of the constituency. He noted that the NDC needed a candidate with the requisite expertise and competence to win the seat in the 2024 general election, adding, he possessed such qualities to wrestle the seat from the NPP. The NDC Parliamentary aspirant said his commitment to champion development, especially among the vulnerable over the years, informed his decision to join the race this time. The constituency, he explained, was among the poorest and underdeveloped in the country hence the need for a development-oriented lawmaker, who could lobby for projects and undertake initiatives to spearhead the overall development of the area. ‘The party needs someone who has the face, background, competence among others to reckon with the NPP in the coming elections. ‘The delegates know my abilities and I am convinced they will give me the opportunity to lead the NDC in the parliamentary elections’ he added. Touching on his focus, he mentioned the establishment of a welfare scheme for party members while prioritizing the empowerment of the branches as support towards rallying together for victory 2024. Provision of jobs, empowering of the youth especially, the vulnerable and the deprived including children was key to the party’s success. He pledged to make the constituency a stronghold for the NDC and called on the delegates to have confidence and belief in him for victory. The first-time parliamentary aspirant appealed to the delegate to vote massively for him to lead the party in the upcoming elections. He called on other aspirants to conduct their campaigns with decorum and decency devoid of insults to galvanize support of grassroots for victory 2024. Mr Agyapong-Mensah asked his contenders to remember the contest was internal and that the main goal was to recapture the seat from the NPP. ‘We should do clean and neat campaigns, let us avoid insults and other misconduct and beware that whoever wins the primaries will need the support of others for victory,’ he stated. Mr Agyapong-Mensah has filed and submitted nomination forms and is currently contending with a former Member of Parliament of the constituency and a second time applicant of the parliamentary primaries. A total of three persons have filed and submitted their forms to contest the parliamentary primaries on the ticket of the NDC for THLD constituency slated for May 2024.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government urged to mainstream issues of gender into national policies

The government of Ghana has been urged to mainstream issues of gender and young people into national policies and enforce institutional laws to help end discrimination and Gender Based Violence at work places. The Young Urban Women Movement (YUWM) which made the call noted that young women continued to experience violence, harassment, and injustice at workplaces in the informal sector and underscored the urgent need for such challenges to be addressed, to help achieve gender parity and the Sustainable Development Goals. It, therefore, called on the government to ratify the International Labour Organisation Convention 190 (C19) and Recommendation 206 (R206) on Violence and Harassment at workplaces and enact, enforce, and monitor national laws and regulations aimed at the elimination and prevention of all forms of gender-based violence and harassment. Ms Patience Abagna, the Public Relations Officer of the Upper East Regional chapter of the YUWM expressed these concerns through the media at Bolgatanga as part of activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day. The YUWM is group of young women numbering over 1500, drawn from the Upper East Region and are under the sponsorship of the Hewlett Foundation in partnership with ActionAid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisations with the focus to advocate the promotion of human rights and women empowerment that cut across unpaid care work, economic security, and bodily integrity of women. Ms Abagna explained that about 77 per cent of young people in Ghana were employed in the informal sector and many of them continued to suffer various degrees of unjust treatment, domestic and workplaces abuses, work loses and burden of unpaid care work, among others. She said the phenomenon which had lingered on for decades continued to retard the development of women, young people, and persons with disability, deepening the gender gap and poverty cycle among vulnerable. ‘Women are segregated and over-represented in low paid, insecure jobs with little or no access to social protection and rights at work, whether in the formal or informal economy. ‘Women workers can be subjected to forced pregnancy tests, forced abortions, and even blackmailing as a condition to securing or retaining their jobs. These are clear violations of women’s labour and sexual and reproductive rights, yet they happen without redress and remedy because their jobs are often outside the purview of national labour laws,’ she lamented. Ms Abagna noted that apart from ratifying the C190 and R206, the government and other stakeholders needed to enact and enforce regulations that ensure universal access to gender responsive, appropriate, confidential, and transparent system that promotes justice for victims of gender-based violence and harassment. ‘She called on traditional and religious leaders to collaborate with organisations such as ActionAid and Young Urban Women’s Movement to end GBV and urged Women rights advocates and social justice organisations to proactively engage the media by influencing and directing media content, including TV and radio advertisements, to promote the gender agenda. ‘They should use the media to change attitudes towards GBV by mainstreaming gender issues in public discourses and projecting the story of the empowered woman in media spaces,’ she added. The celebration was characterised by a route march on the principal streets of Bolgatanga holding placards with the inscription, ‘stop harassing women and girls,’ ‘some gender norms are not favourable to women, let us change them,’ ‘involve women in leadership and decision making’ among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Minister urged parents to support their girls to venture into STEM

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, has asked parents and guardians to support their children and wards, especially girls to venture into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes. The Minister said STEM programmes provided new and powerful opportunities for the future and that the digital market space would never be saturated because of innovation. He said at present, organisations needed people with technological skills to be competitive and this was going to be the new norm, and key decisions would continue to be made based on these added skills that were found to be relevant to the organisation’s goals. Dr Letsa was speaking at a programme to mark this year’s International Women’s Day celebration- Tech Forum and Fair in Ho, which is on the theme: ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ and the campaign message #EmbraceEquity. The Minister said innovation and technology was?the future, and that there was the need to develop the human resource potentials of women and girls to take advantage of it. We must therefore leverage digital technology to create solutions that address the unique needs and challenges faced by women and girls to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Minister entreated all and sundry to strive and promote gender equality through the empowerment of women to achieve sustainable development and good governance as a nation. ‘Most women are found in the informal sector where they own and manage their businesses. Digital literacy skills provide them a rare opportunity to put their businesses on the world stage; advertise, sell, and develop strategic partnerships to grow their businesses.’ Dr Letsa said the Volta Regional Coordinating Council on its part has always envisioned a policy design that involved the use of innovation and technology to propel the development of the region. The Minister encouraged women and girls to continuously develop these skills to remain relevant and competitive in today’s digital world. He said innovation and technology in today’s world was pivotal in addressing gender gaps, however digital literacy gap remained a challenge between women and men This, he said, called for attention as reflected in the theme for this year’s celebration: ‘DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.’ Mr Faisal Bawa, Programme Analyst- GBV, UNFPA, Accra, commended the Volta Regional Coordinating Council for effective partnership been them in promoting and protecting women in the region. He said it was worthy to celebrate women who over the years contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of society. Mr Bawa said the theme: ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,’ was appropriate as technology holds endless possibilities and had the power to expand network of opportunities. He said the exclusion of women and girls in technology was perpetrated through violence and discrimination and these acts were ending the future of women and girls and increasing gender, economic and social inequality. The Programme Analyst disclosed that an estimated 2.7 million people were not connected to the internet in the world and majority of these people were women and girls. He said globally, 62 percent of men used internet while 47 per cent of women had access to internet, and this called for more work to done to bridge the gap. Mr Bawa said some women and girls shied away from using the internet due to threats on the internet and this prevented them from using their technology to help in societal development. The Programme Analyst said women and girls were sharpers of the future and that the more they were included in the creation of technology, the less vulnerable they would be, and society would benefit.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ashaiman MP appeals to residents to remain calm

Mr. Ernest Norgbey, Member of Parliament for the Ashaiman Constituency has called on residents to remain calm, and not to retaliate as stakeholders use the right channels to seek justice for the victims. Mr. Norgbey made the statement at Ashaiman Taifa during interaction with the constituents and held a meeting also with Nii Anang Adzor Regent of Ashaiman, former Members of Parliament, Mr. Alfred Abgesi, and some of the victims of the military brutality. The Ashaiman MP assured the people of going all lengths to fight for justice, and no one should act contrary to what they were fighting for. He advised that when a military person is spotted in the area no one should attack or fight them, and the rightful compensation would be demanded when they meet the defence and Interior committee and use CHRAJ as last resort. Mr. Abgesi former MP said over 500 people were taken away and only 150 were released leaving their families worried about their safety and health. Madam Beatrice Hogbostu, wife of one of the arrested persons pleaded for her husband’s release. She said ‘my husband is innocent. He returned from work in the morning when the soldiers picked him up. ‘Our sick child needs medical treatment and I can’t take her to the hospital because of my husband’s absence’. Some victims pleaded with the government to intervene to get them justice and compensate the injured.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government has made adequate investments in security apparatus-Nitiwul

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister for Defence Friday disclosed that the government has made adequate investments in the security apparatus of the country. He said the salaries of soldiers and police officers had been tripled to enhance their standards of living. Mr Nitiwul was contributing to the debate on the State of the Nation address by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, March 8. ‘Mr Speaker, the government has made adequate investments in the security apparatus of the country over the years. ‘Mr Speaker, for the Armed Forces in particular, the salaries of the armed forces have been more than tripled. It is the same thing with the police service and the same thing with the other security services because a hungry soldier is an angry soldier. That is why our security services must be well taken care of,’ Mr Nitiwul said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government implements climate change mitigation, adaptation measures – Dr. Afriyie???

The government is implementing 13 adaptation and 34 mitigation programmes to mitigate climate change impact in the country, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) has said. The implementation of the climate action will generate absolute greenhouse gas emission reductions of 64 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO). Dr Afriyie disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of?an international greenhouse gas monitoring and global change research station for the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani. The Bia Tano station is a joint scientific research project between UENR, the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Republic (CzechGlobe) and other governmental institutions including the Ghana Forestry Commission and the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG).? It would be responsible for the direct measurements of forest-atmosphere exchanges of carbon dioxide, water, energy, and other trace gases that would allow for the University to observe the whole forest ecosystem metabolism (including soil measurements). The station would further empower the University to quantify the role of forests as sources of trace gases, the input of gaseous pollutants and nutrients and the role of the nation’s tropical forests in cleansing the atmosphere through carbon uptake from the atmosphere. Dr. Afriyie said Ghana remained committed to its fight against climate change through its regular national annual reports on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Currently, he explained that the country’s NDCs comprise about 47 adaptation and mitigation measures on climate change and embody efforts by countries to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These measures are in line with Article 4 of the Paris Agreement to regulate the global temperature below 2.0 °C, he said, indicating the interim NDCs sought to advance climate-responsive food production systems, lowering deforestation and landscape restoration. It will also scale up renewable energy and sustainable energy transition, promote clean electric mobility, and mobilise investments into climate actions.? Dr. Afriyie said Ghana’s forest and its relevance in developing sound climate change mitigation policies to promote sustainable forest management practices to regulate deforestation. ‘Climate change is a defining issue of our time, and we need?bold and pragmatic actions today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?to build resilience in terms of mitigation efforts.’ Tropical forests, he explained, had a crucial role in cooling temperatures on the earth’s surface by extracting carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. ‘Two-thirds of their cooling power comes from their ability to capture CO2?and store it while the remaining one-third comes from their ability to create clouds, humidify the air and release cooling chemicals.’ This signifies the important role played by these tropical trees in the global carbon cycle and the need to protect and better understand them. Despite its significant role?in global carbon sequestration,?only a few studies mostly based on remote sensing applications and short-field research campaigns had been conducted in Africa to understand the sequestration capacity and resilience of African forest ecosystems to recent Land Use Changes (LUC) and future global climate change. Dr. Afriyie said the ministry remained committed to the success of this project, and promised to help the University to acquire a partial waiver on the sensors that were donated by the CzechGlobe. Officials from the Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would also closely work with the scientists from the University on the project to provide the needed technical assistance and guidance for effective management and utilization of the data for maximum impact. Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, regretted Ghana was fast losing her wildlife and biodiversity, with many species facing extinction. She said the high deforestation rates experienced in the country and many other developing countries within the tropical region had led to the increased loss in the carbon sequestration capacity, and additional negative consequences to global warming by the release of forest carbon. Mad. Owusu-Banahene added through this project, scientists could get to understand better the physiological changes that occur in the forest ecosystem under changing climatic conditions. ‘Through these efforts, the University and its partners can contribute resourcefully to the government’s effort in combating climate change through the effective implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in Developing Countries programme (REDD+)’, she said. Earlier in a welcoming address,?Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice Chancellor of the UENR?expressed appreciation to the government of Ghana, the Czech Embassy, the CzechGlobe and its (University’s) entire local communities which had helped in diverse ways for the growth and development of the University. He said though it was still one of the youngest public universities in the country, the university could boast of its tremendous contributions to scientific research and education since its establishment 10 years ago.

Source: Ghana News Agency