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Expansion of Ghana School Feeding Programme to JHS crucial – FOSDA

The Programmes Manger at  the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), a civil society organization with the mission to promote peace and human security, Theodora Williams Anti, has said that expansion of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) to benefit more pupils in Ghana is crucial.

She explained that since the inception of the programme in 2005, successive governments have continued to expand the coverage of the initiative, offering many poor learners the opportunity to benefit from the intervention.

However, she said, 16 years on, only 30% coverage has been achieved out of the about 30,112 public primary schools and kindergartens combined.

Coupled with calls to expand coverage, government has shown commitment to include more schools under the programme, but the dilemma, is whether to continue with the current model where primary schools are selected from deprived communities and placed on the programme or adopt a new model; which is to expand coverage to include Junior High Schools (JHS), Madam Williams Anti said during the media launch of the GSFP bridging the gap documentary supported by OXFAM, in Accra on Thursday October 7.

“To prove that expansion to the JHS is crucial, it will be recalled that the last time government gave approval to expand the programme was in July 2016 and it targeted 3 million school children. Very little is known about progress on this in the public domain.

“Three (3) months ago, FOSDA commissioned a study into the GSFP and progressive effects at the JHS level, with comparative analysis of two other African Countries i.e Mozambique and South Africa. Our findings suggest that, the absence of the GSFP at the JHS level is equally accounting for dropout rates in the country. Data from the Ministry of Education on completion rate in 2016 to 2019 averaged 100.1% at both national and sub-national levels for primary schools. Within the same time period, average completion rate for JHS was 76.8% at national and 63% at the sub-national levels. This shows a completion gap of 23% and 37% for JHS at the national and sub-national levels respectively.

“The GSFP has contributed substantially to the enrollment and retention of pupils. For instance, from 26% to 73% in the 2014 academic year. The South African story showed an average 93% completion rate at Grade 7-9 alone (equivalent to HJS 1to 3 in Ghana). This shows a much higher figure within the same time period when the comparison is made to Ghana at national level,” she stated.

She added “to support these study findings, FOSDA engaged with beneficiaries and some duty bearers of the GSFP in selected districts. The call for the expansion to the HJS level was paramount again. This led to the production of a 20 minutes documentary on the subject.

“As an organization with a mission to champion human security we have concluded that the path to consolidating the gains on GSFP is the option to expand it to the JHS level but with emphasis in poor and deprived communities. The poor and deprived communities in those districts that have performed poorly, on the district league table (DLT) since 2014 as well as the those ranked low on Ghana’s poverty profile and maps. The Conscious efforts must be taken to bridge the inequality gaps in the GSFP.

“We are here today to share with you what key stakeholder are saying is the way forward in the implementation of the GSFP;

“We urge you to join our camping to call on government to extend the GSFP to the JHS, so that together we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overarching principle of leaving no one behind.”

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) is an initiative of the comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Pillar 3 which seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger, poverty and malnutrition.

The immediate objectives are to reduce hunger and malnutrition, increase school enrolment, attendance and retention, and boost domestic food production in deprived communities of the country. The Development objective is to reduce poverty and enhance food security.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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Education

New Law School campus progressing steadily – 70 Per cent of foundation done

Mr. Kwasi Prempeh-Eck (left), Director of the Ghana School of Law, in a discussion with Mr. Joseph Magnus Marteye (middle), CEO of Joberg Ghana Limited
Mr. Kwasi Prempeh-Eck (left), Director of the Ghana School of Law, in a discussion with Mr. Joseph Magnus Marteye (middle), CEO of Joberg Ghana Limited

The construction of the new campus for the Ghana School of Law (GSL), which has the capacity to admit 2,000 students, is progressing well, contractors of the project have assured.

The contractor, Joberg Ghana Limited, is currently 70 per cent done with work on the foundation or the substructure of the project.

This came to light when the Director of the GSL, Mr. Kwasi Prempeh-Eck, and his team last Tuesday paid a visit to the project site, opposite PRESEC, Legon, on the road to the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

Dubbed the GSL Law Village, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the first phase of the project valued at $4 million on May 23, this year and it is expected to be completed in May, 2023.

With the brouhaha over admission of students to the GSL, the GSL Law Village is expected to expand access to legal education and it is seen as one of the solutions to the perennial problem of the inability of the GSL to admit thousands of LLB holders desirous of pursuing professional legal education.

New campuses:

Mr. Prempeh-Eck told the media that the GSL was not deaf to the concerns raised about access to legal education.

He said the Law Village project and the opening of satellite campuses were all part of efforts by the GSL to increase access to professional legal education in a manner that would not compromise quality.

“We have Accra main campus, another campus at Kumasi and GIMPA and now we have opened a new campus at UPSA to help us accommodate the numbers.

If a student passes the entrance exams, he will be admitted to the law school, at the same time we are also making plans to increase access,” he said.

With regard to the 499 students who were refused admission to the GSL on the basis that they failed to obtain pass marks in both the objective and written part of the entrance exam, Mr. Prempeh-Eck said the matter was currently before the courts, and therefore he could only comment after a determination by the courts.

Professional law course

When asked if the GSL could one day consider allowing the faculties of law in the country run the professional law course, Mr Prempeh-Eck said it was currently being discussed.

“That is a plan that is being discussed between the General Legal Council and the Deans of the Law Faculties. If you are trying to change a system that has been in existence since 1960, it cannot be done overnight.

This discussion has gone on for quite a while and it is left with implementation. Many questions linger on. How many of the faculties are ready? Can we absorb all students etc. We cannot just change the system overnight because we are dealing with people, resources and the general direction of legal education,” he said.

Guarantee
The Chief Executive Officer of Joberg Ghana Limited, Mr. Joseph Magnus Marteye, said the project was on course and was expected to be completed within the stipulated time frame.

“Currently, the substructure is what is ongoing, we are 70 per cent completed and as you know construction relies on the substructure. When that is completed, the remaining job will not be much of a problem,” he said.

He, however, called on the government to intervene and provide a guarantee to enable his outfit to source loans to execute the project without any hindrance.

According to him, under the current arrangement, the project was purely funded by the GSL through its internally generated funds (IGF), but Joberg is supposed to pre- finance and be reimbursed by the GSL twice a year (every six months).

“We have to pre-finance but that has to be done through borrowing from the banks. The government is supposed to give us a guarantee to help us raise funds, but we have not yet received it, so we are using our IGF for the project as we wait for government to give us that guarantee. We are also waiting for the GSL to start taking school fees so that we will be paid,” he said.

He explained that a guarantee from the government would quicken the pace of the project as it would enable his outfit to source for funding within the shortest possible time.

“However, this does not stop us from doing what we must do. We have a timeline of 24 months and we will still meet the timeline so long as the Ghana School of Law pays us every six months,” he added.

Source:Graphiconline

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Education

Asantehene inaugurates new Board of Otumfuo Education Fund

New Board of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation outdoored
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (seated, middle), with some members of the Board, including from left Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, Chairman of the Board (left), Mrs Margaret Boateng Sekyere (second left), Rev. Akua Ofori-Boateng (second right) and Mr Andrew Asamoah (right).

The newly constituted Board of Trustees of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation (OOTIIF) was outdoored during last weekend’s Akwasidae celebration at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

Membership of the Board includes its Chairman, Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, internationally acclaimed Orthopaedic Surgeon and the Otumfuo’s Hiahen and Mrs Margaret Boateng Sekyere, Mr Andrew Asamoah, Dr Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu, Dr Kwame Bawuah-Edusei, Rev. Akua Ofori-Boateng, Sir Samuel Esson Jonah, Nana Akuoku Boateng and Mrs Mariam Agyeman Gyasi Jawhary.

The Foundation serves as the Asantehene’s umbrella development organisation to consolidate, structure and implement all the King’s social impact initiatives in the specific thematic areas of Education, Health, Culture and Heritage, Water and Sanitation and some special projects.

The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life of Asanteman and Ghanaians by enhancing access to good quality education, health and sustainable infrastructure while promoting programs in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), tourism and socio-economic empowerment.

The Foundation is a consolidation of the various initiatives of Otmfuo Osei Tutu II, including the Otumfuo Education Fund, the Serwaa Ampem Foundation for Children and the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation.

The newly constituted Foundation is still under the patronage of His Royal Majesty and Her Royal Highness.

A spokesperson of the Foundation told the Daily Graphic that one major focus of the Asantehene, from the time of his ascension to the Golden Stool, has been the social development of Asanteman and Ghana.

He said when Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended the Golden Stool in 2009, he immediately established the Otumfuo Education Fund to provide thousands of scholarships for young people all over Ghana.

“Over the years, His Royal Majesty established other social causes for various projects and earlier this year, he consolidated all these various initiatives into the single and only mandated Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation,” she stated.

Source: Graphiconline

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Education

2021 WASSCE: 55 percent of papers leaked – Eduwatch

The Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) 2021 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) Ghana Monitoring Report says out of 20 papers monitored, 11 (55 percent) leaked “successfully,” whilst nine (45 percent) were recorded as fake circulations.

The report mentioned the leaked papers as: Foods and Nutrition Three (Practical), Elective Mathematics Two, English Language Two, Physics Two (which was consequently rescheduled), Biology Three (Practical-Alternative A), Core Mathematics One, Core Mathematics Two, Economics Two, Chemistry 1, Integrated Science One and Integrated Science Two.

It said the papers leaked before or after midnight, at the dawn of the scheduled day for the examination, or a few hours before the papers were due to be taken.

Reverend Dr Fredrick Deegbe, a Former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, formally launched the report, dubbed: “Eduwatch 2021 WASSCE Ghana Motoring Report,” in Accra.

Mr Kofi Asare, the Executive Director, Africa Education Watch, who presented the findings of the report, said the report covered the monitoring of 20 papers in 50 purposively sampled examination centres during WASSCE 2021, adding that the supposed questions from the papers were leaked unto various rogue social media pages on telegram.

He said the online leakage manifested at the school level, as some students in all schools monitored had foreknowledge of the 11 papers, which were sold on social media platforms hours ahead of the examination.

He said in addition, English Language and Social Studies written questions from the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABTEX) examination conducted by the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) for Technical Institutes at the pre-tertiary level also leaked on the telegram platforms.

The report said the high-stakes nature of the pre-tertiary external assessment system, where one could be deemed “a failure” based on a 90-minute test after 14 years of schooling as a key driver of the demand for questions and examination malpractices, as candidates must pass at all cost.

It said also, the high cost of remedial schooling, which was only available in the private sector for only parents who could afford it, was partly accountable for the commitment of candidates, mostly backed by the parents to purchase phones and questions, pay for compromised invigilation, and pass at the first attempt.

It again identified the increased competition for pride among schools through the WASSCE Ranking (League Table) and Key Performance Indicators for school heads as a potential motivation for institutionalised cheating during WASSCE, while acknowledging the universalised use of mobile phones in schools and access to social media by students, especially telegram and WhatsApp as conduits for accessing the questions.

The report said in addition to the demand factors, and its facilitators, the major supply drivers remained the existence of consistent security gaps in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) questions supply chain, which had culminated in a multi-million-cedi subsidiary industry – the “apo” market, courtesy telegram platform that could host over 200,000 subscribers for marketing.

The report said examination fraud, if unaddressed, would lead to the devaluation of WAEC’s certificates in the local and international tertiary space and the world of work, and made recommendations towards the digitisation of the question transmission process by removing the human elements involved in the section, printing, sorting, packaging, transportation, and storage of questions at deports, ahead of examinations.

It also recommended the mounting of CCTV surveillance systems in and around examination centres and reviewing the over emphasis on summative assessment or test based final examination by increasing the threshold for internal assessment from the current 30 percent.

Mr Charlse Aheto-Tsegah, a former Director-General, Ghana Education Service, said to address the issue of examinations malpractices, there was the need to change the penalty for examination malpractices from misdemeanour to crime to make the punishment more punitive.

Source:GNA

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