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We have ‘enough resources’ for Free SHS – Ofori-Atta

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We have ‘enough resources’ for Free SHS – Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said the Akufo-Addo government has ample resources to bankroll its Free Senior High School policy without needing to touch the Heritage Fund.

“We are financing the Free SHS education without looking at the Heritage Fund. We are not touching the Heritage Fund. I think we have enough resources from our envelope to be able to do it without touching the Heritage Fund. …Mr. Ofori-Atta stressed that government will not touch the Heritage Fund …There is going to be a budget allocation for that and it does not include the Heritage Fund,” Mr Ofori-Atta told journalists on Thursday.

The comment made by Mr Ofori-Atta was followed by a comment from the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo who said ‘that the government may rely on the oil kitty to fund the Free SHS policy’.

Mr Osafo Marfo stated at a forum in Accra on Tuesday 14 February that: “We have to make an amendment to say that X per cent of the Heritage Fund, or the Petroleum Fund will be used to support second cycle education. If we think that industry requires a certain stimulus that will enable jobs to be created and you are creating a job to build Ghana, you can look at it and put in a certain amount. We are [also] looking at agriculture.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently assured Ghanaians that his government “will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards”.

Spelling out the details of the policy, “so that no one in Ghana is left in any doubt”, President Akufo-Addo explained: “By Free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition, which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.”

The president added: “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”.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, February 11, 2017, when, as the Special Guest of Honour, he delivered a speech at the 60th anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School.

On Thursday, the Minority in Parliament said it will resist the use of the Fund to fund the programme scheduled to start in September this year.

“We join the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians and civil society groups to register our strongest disapproval and objection to this idea. We wish to state emphatically that we shall resist any attempt to amend the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. …A lot of thinking and consultation was put into this Act which was led by the Finance Ministry. International development partners were consulted and lessons were drawn from the best practices in oil producing countries the world over. The Act is a product of national consensus and has both executive and legislative approvals,” former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson told journalists on Thursday, 16 February at a press conference organised by the Minority in parliament.

Meanwhile, policy think tank IMANI Africa’s Patrick Stephenson has said Ghana needs about $600 million per annum to fund and implement the Free Senior High School programme introduced by the Akufo-Addo government.

Mr Stephenson said the “total proceeds that we have sitting in the Petroleum Fund now – some rough computation suggest we have a little over $300 million. How much do we need to invest in free education annually? Rough computations suggest something in excess of $600million if we have to do it right and do it well. Now if you decide to go and take the resources out of your Petroleum Fund, clearly it still doesn’t fix your entire financing problem that you need and all of that is gone in just a year. Not that it’s a bad thing in itself, you should be able to demonstrate, for example, that it’s going to be sustainable for the long term and whatever they are putting in there goes in there, but we haven’t heard all of these things.”

The Ghana Heritage Fund was established in 2011 by Section 10 (1) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815). It is meant to serve as an endowment for future generations. It is not supposed to be touched until after 15 years of its establishment.

Each year, nine per cent of oil revenue is deposited into the fund. According to figures from the Bank of Ghana, in the first half of 2016, the Heritage Fund received US$5.79 million while the Stabilisation Fund received US$13.52 million.

In the second half of 2016, Heritage Fund received US$6.85 million, while the Ghana Stabilisation Fund received US$15.99 million.

As of December 2016, the Heritage Fund had accrued US$262.57 million, making up eight per cent of total revenue from oil proceeds distributed to the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) and the Ghana Petroleum Funds (GPFs).

The Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) received a total of US$1,473.45 million representing 43 percent of the total revenue while the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) received a total amount of US$1,057.30 million equivalent to 31 percent of total revenue.

The Ghana Stabilisation Fund (GSF) received an amount of US$633.87 million (18 per cent).

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Oheneba Nkrabea the Rasta Student quits Achimota School; gains admission to GIS

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Oheneba Nkrabea the Rasta Student

Oheneba Nkrabea the Rasta Student quits Achimota School; gains admission to GIS

It’s obvious that the woes of the famous rasta students in our educational history are not dead yet even after the High court ruled in their favor.

One of the students who challenged Achimota School and Ghana Education service, Oheneba Nkrabea has quitted Achimota School and has currently been enrolled at the prestigious Ghana International School (GIS) in Accra after they received threats that the Attorney General was going to appeal against the High Court’s ruling that went in their favor.

The news about Oheneba’s move has been kept under wraps as the legal challenge to overturn a high court ruling travels its full throttle.

Ghana International School (GIS) is one of Ghana’s leading international schools providing world-class holistic education to children between the ages of 3 years and 18 years.

Meanwhile, the Lawyer for Rastafarian student, Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, Ras Wayoe Ghanamannti, has described as unfortunate the Attorney General’s appeal against the High Court’s ruling in the Rasta kids case.

Speaking on GHOne TV Tuesday, the lead Counsel argued that the flagrant disrespect of the interest of these kids which is paramount per the principles of the law is problematic.

He fears the children would be affected psychologically as the case has been advanced further at the Appeals court.

“The psychological trauma, the instability, the emotional stress, and those ambits of it is what is worrying us because these are children, these are young guys, and they’ve started going to school so at the end of the day any such decision will traumatize them. And we think that this is what the AG should have considered. Because if you look at our law – the Children’s Act, Section 2, on the very first principle, it’s clear that in everything that we seek to do the interest of the Child is paramount and even court of law and all other agents of security and all other persons would respect that principle that the interest of a child is paramount.

“So we thought that considering this case and their interest in respect of education, the AG would have allowed this to pass and if there is any future advancing of the rules Achimota is using holistically to preserve and protect minority rights like these rights of the Rastas we are talking about it would be looked at but to bring this appeal on and to pile up pressure and emotional stress on the children is unfortunate.”

The Achimota School board and the Attorney-General’s Department have filed an appeal to challenge the Human Rights High Court’s order for the school to admit the two dreadlock-wearing students.

The Achimota School per the appeal said, the court among other things erred by indicating that the rules and regulations of Achimota School with regard to ensuring uniformity in appearance is unlawful and interferes with the manifestation of one’s religious rights.

The school board has therefore filed the appeal to have the entire judgment set aside and the plaintiff ordered to comply with the school’s regulations if he (Tyrone Marhguy) chooses to be a student of the school.

The AG’s office has also filed an appeal on the case, asking the court to uphold Achimota School’s arguments and rule in favor of the school.

The notice of appeal said the judge who adjudicated that matter and gave victory to the two boys failed to get the plaintiffs to provide evidence of their claims.

The AG’s office also said the judge erred in claiming that Achimota School had interfered with the right to the education of the boys.

“The learned Judge erred when she held that the regulation of the 1st Respondent requiring that students keep their hair low amounted to an illegal and unconstitutional attempt to suspend the manifestation of the Applicant’s guaranteed freedom to practice and manifest his religion…”

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President Akufo-Addo cuts sod for $60 million Phase 2 expansion project at UHAS

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Akufo-Addo cuts sod for $60 million Phase 2 expansion project at UHAS

President Akufo-Addo cuts sod for $60 million Phase 2 expansion project at UHAS

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 10th September 2021, cut the sod for the commencement of work on the second phase of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) Project, in Ho, in the Volta Region.

The first phase of the University Project was funded by the Chinese Government through its development Agency, China AID, at a cost of 104,850,000RMB (Chinese Yuan), equivalent to some $16 million.

The facilities present at the facility include administration block, classrooms, library, laboratory, auditorium, student’s activity center, and a cafeteria for the School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences.

It will be recalled that Phase I of the project, which covers a total construction area of 10,386 meters square, was completed and handed over to the University some five years ago.

$60 million Phase 2 expansion project at UHAS

Artist impression of the Nursing & Midwifery Block

According to the President, Government recognizes that, in spite of all the facilities present, the University still requires additional infrastructural projects in order to effectively deliver on its mandate.

He explained that it is for this reason that the Ministers for Education and Finance worked in unison with the University Management to secure funding from the Chinese Government to the tune of $60 Million, for the commencement of the second phase of the expansion projects.

Phase II of the project, he said, will also accommodate the Central Administration of the University and the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), the biggest in Africa upon completion.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that, as a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to the project, the Government has made available GH¢6.2 million counterpart funding for the preliminary works to cover the extension of electricity, municipal water supply, construction of storm and waste drains, and all ancillary services required for the project implementation.

$60 million Phase 2 expansion project at UHAS

Artist impression of the Nursing & Midwifery Block

He commended the Minister for Education and the Vice-Chancellor for their efforts in bringing the project to fruition and congratulated the Vice-Chancellor on the renewal of his tenure of office.
Commending the management of the University for constructing ultramodern student hostels from internally generated funds, the President assured the University that his administration will not renege on its commitment to help the University provide quality education for its students.

The genesis of Phase II Project

Preparatory works for the construction of the China Phase II project started with a request from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Gyapong, in 2017, and was “blessed” with the signing of exchange of notes between the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana on Friday, January 11, 2019.
This paved way for the commencement of preliminary works on the project, with a delegation from China visiting the University in March 2019 for a reconnaissance survey of the proposed site and conducted feasibility studies on the proposed project.

In June 2019, the design team from the China Urban Construction Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd. (CUCD) who are the Consultants of the Chinese Government visited the University with preliminary sketch designs for discussion with the user departments.

After extensive deliberations with the Technical Staff of the University, revisions were made to some aspects of the sketch designs based on the lessons from the execution of the Phase I project.

In July 2019, another team of experts from China visited the proposed project site and conducted a site survey and geotechnical investigations to help in the completion of the designs. Subsequently, the technical team from the University of Health and Allied Sciences led by the Vice-Chancellor met the Chinese Consultants in October 2019 to review preliminary designs, agreed on modifications, and signed off for implementation.

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Headmaster of Jachie Pramso SHS who lashed a female student interdicted by GES

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Headmaster of Jachie Pramso SHS interdicted

Headmaster of Jachie Pramso SHS who lashed a female student interdicted by GES

Latest update posted by Ghana Education Service (GES) on their Facebook timeline and monited by Accramail.com  confirms that the Headmaster of Jachie Pramso Senior High School (JAPASS) in the Bosomtwe district of Ashanti region who mercilessly lashed a female final year student to the extent of the victim having bruises at her back has been interdicted and advised to stay away while investigation is being carried out.

Mr. Francis Donkor, the headmaster of the school has been asked to handover the administration and management of the school to the Ashanti Regional Education Director whiles the investigation goes on, the statement stated.

Background of the issue

Mary Amoako, a 19-year-old and General Acts student was given several lashes by the headmaster, who was angry with her for being kind to offer her jacket to one male student who came to class without wearing a uniform.

According to Mary, the headmaster asked the boy to remove his shirt and go half-naked to the dormitory and wear a uniform before he comes back to the classroom.

She said, she later gave her jacket to the said boy to wear after the headmaster has ceased the boy’s shirt and left.
The headmaster, according to the girls, later saw the boy going to the dormitory while wearing a jacket, and when he found out that it was the lady who gave the jacket to him (the boy), he gave her several lashes at her back resulting in serious bruises.

 


Accramail.com

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