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Press Review | Nov 5, 2004

ISD News File - Friday, November 5, 2004

ISD

VICE PRESIDENT IN THE BRONG AHAFO REGION

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has emphasized that the government had revamped the shattered economy and stabilized the cedi against the major currencies.

He said the new independence gained by Ghanaians had made it possible for people to express their views publicly and discharge their duties freely without fear.

Alhaji Mahama was addressing separate durbars at Menji, Namasa Debibi and Brodi in the Tain District, Duadaso Number one and two and Sampa in the Jaman North District as part of his four-day tour of the Brong Ahafo Region.

The Vice President said the NPP government was not only a listening government, but also people-centered which was sensitive to the plight of Ghanaians and would therefore never do anything to antagonize the very people whose interest it was seeking.

He stated that the government would release more money to the newly-created districts for infrastructural development to enable them to catch up with the old assemblies and by so doing; it would create more jobs for the people, thereby reducing the unemployment problem in the country.

WHITE PAPER ON SCHOOL REFORMS OUT

The Senior Minister, Mr. J. H. Mensah, yesterday launched the government's White Paper on the Report of the Educational Reform Review Committee at a press Conference in Accra.

He said the government, under the new educational reform, will exempt the sector from the compulsory retiring age of 60 years. This will ensure that there are enough experienced teachers to fill the empty classrooms to ensure the successful implementation of the programme.

Mr. Mensah said, the government has decided that basic education in Ghana shall consist of 11 years of compulsory education, comprising two years of kindergarten, six years of primary school and three years of junior high school which will replace the existing junior secondary school.

The reforms will take effect in the 2007/2008 academic year, and it is envisaged that by 2015, provision will have been made for the universal basic education of all Ghanaian children through junior high school.

The Senior Minister said, the new system would ensure that by the year 2020, all young people who enter the labour market would have been exposed to a second cycle education that would have prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

GOVERNMENT PURCHASES VEHICLES FOR POLITICAL PARTIES

The government has purchased 40 Tata-double-cabin, four-by-four pickups for distribution among the Electoral Commission (EC) and the political parties.

The total value of the vehicles is $560,000.00. Five will be given to the EC, while each presidential candidate will be given two.

The rest would be shared among the political parties, according to their percentage representation in Parliament.

The Minister of Information, Nana Akomea, said the documentations had been finalized and the vehicle would be given to the EC on Monday for onward distribution among the various political parties.

KORLE-BU TURNS THIRD HEART SURGEON

The third locally-trained heart surgeon has passed the final part two examination of the West African College of Surgeons held in Ibadan, Nigeria, last month.

The Chief Executive of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, said that the excellence of the hospital in specialist training would boost the national post-graduate programme, which was inaugurated in December last year.

Touching on the performance of the candidates presented for the October examinations, Mr. Rudolf Darko, Head of surgery, said the beauty of Ghana's success lay in the fact that two candidates, Dr. (major) S.O. Awuku in Orthopaedics and Trauma and Mr. Frank Edwin, Cardiothoracic Surgery, who took part in the Part Two examinations passed.

According to Mr. Darko, Dr Edwin, 36, is the third locally-trained heart surgeon, explaining that he passed the examinations at his first sitting, with excellence.

The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has also been adjudged the best specialist training centre in West Africa by the college.

This was after the college had assessed and analyzed the training facilities, structured programmes, as well as the results of candidates who are presented by the hospital for the examinations of the college.

FORUM ON PRIVATE HIGHER EDUCATION IN AFRICA OPENS IN ACCRA

The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, has explained that support for private tertiary educational institutions from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) will go into the construction of science faculties and the supply of science educational materials.

The Minister, who said this at the opening of a two-day policy forum on private higher education in Africa, in Accra, revealed that subjects being offered at those universities were Business, Administration, Accounting, Computer Studies, and other related subjects.

Ms. Ohene noted that Africa lagged behind in science and technology, which had led to non industrialization of our economics, and advised that much attention be given to those subjects, if we must developed.

In a welcoming address, the Chairman of AAU and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Akilakpa Sawyerr, urged the participants to be committed to finding solutions to problems facing universities in Africa.

Participants were drawn from Ghana, Kenya, Benin, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroun. The rest were from Cote d' Ivoire, South Africa, Tanzania, Mali, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

GERMAN ENVOY CALLS FOR VOCATIONAL TRAINING

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Peter Linder has inaugurated the Alavanyo Women's Group Project at Alavanyo in the Volta Region.

Mr. Linder stressed that vocational training is important in private sector development, employment and growth and noted that basic education was the all-important element for development.

“But in the modern world, in which chances depend very much on the quantity and quality of skills a person has, vocational training, and with it entrepreneurial skills, is a very important element as well”, he noted.

The Ambassador said, this will enable the most disadvantaged group, namely young girls without proper education and unmarried mothers, to develop vocational and entrepreneurial skills in order to become self-sufficient and eventually improve their personal and their communities' situation.

He said, by granting over ¢85 million to the project, the German Embassy had merely provided the necessary start-up investment and expressed the hope that the project would grow and have increase independence leading to a better life for the individual participants.

GHACEM OUTDOORS NEW PRODUCTS

Ghacem Limited, the nation's largest producer of cement, has launched a new product known as Ghacem Super Strength Portland Limestone Cement Class 42.5N or Super Strength PLC Class 42.5N for short.

The new product allows Ghacem to use local limestone from Yongwa in the Eastern Region for cement production under a new cement in conformity with international standards.

The Managing Director of Ghacem, Mr. Bjarn Schmidt, said super strength PLC Class 42.5N becomes Ghacem's main cement product and is targeted at normal construction.

Dr. George Dawson-Amoah, Marketing Director described the launch of the new product as “Yet another feat in the efforts of Ghacem to maintain her lead in the cement industry in Ghana”.

The works Manager, Mr. Ralf Slomski, declared that “Ghacem was ready to supply quality products, ready to compete, and ready to serve the country”.

ABOSSO GOLDFIELDS CULTIVATES 90 HECTARE OIL PLANTATION FOR DAMANG

The Abosso Goldfields Limited at Damang in the Wassa West District of the Western Region has cultivated a 90 hectare oil palm plantation for the community.

The cultivation of the plantation which consist of about 45,000 oil palm trees, forms part of the company's sustainable development project to generate revenue and employment for the communities it operates in.

The General Manager of the company, Mr. Louw Smith, who disclosed this during a media tour of its mines, said in addition, more than 200 of the 600 hectares of land disturbed by the mining activities, has been reclaimed for oil palm and teak plantation.

He noted that so far 150 people, mostly farmers have been resettled at Amoada in 50 unit housing project costing ¢2 billion.

WESTERN UNIVERSITY GETS LEGAL BACKING

The Western University College is now a fully-fledged university with an autonomous status. It is now called the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, in the Western Region.

This follows the passage of a bill by Parliament on Tuesday, giving it the legal backing as fully-fledged university with its new status, the university is the only one in the West African sub-region dedicated to the training of mining engineers and allied programmes.

The university, established in 1952 as the Tarkwa School of Mines, has been affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology since 1976.

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