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05.03.2005 Regional News

Polytechnics urged to make courses relevant to local needs

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Wa, March 5, GNA - Mr. Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister on Friday urged the Wa Polytechnic Council to ensure that the institution grows to become relevant and sensitive to the needs and problems of the local communities, majority of which were engaged in farming.

He said human resources was the greatest asset of the nation and the Upper West in particular and the region was, therefore, looking up to the Wa polytechnic to move it forward through the creation of adequate manpower to enable it attract investments to the area. Mr Dery said this when the council, led by its Chairman, Professor Jacob Songsore called on him at his office to formally congratulate him on his elevation from a deputy minister to Regional Minister. Professor Songsore also used the occasion to introduce Professor Sampson Kwaku Agodzo, as the new Principal of the Polytechnic. He would officially take over the administration in July from Mr Abraham Kofi-Kuma Aidoo, who had retired and was on contract. The Regional Minister showered praises on the out-going Principal for the dynamism he exhibited in getting the Polytechnic started, and putting it on course to become a model technological center in Northern Ghana.

" I have been overwhelmed by the high level of infrastructure developments I saw on the campus and we shall never drag our feet on any issue that will be intended to advance the cause of the institution", he said.

Professor Songsore pledged the Council's commitment to give vision and direction for the growth of the Polytechnic. He congratulated the Minister on his appointment and expressed the hope that he would put his rich experience and knowledge at the disposal of the council so that together they could make it an enviable institution that the region and the nation could be proud of. The out-going Principal, Mr Aidoo said the polytechnic was finding it difficult to attract lecturers, although they had adequate working tools and equipment, due to lack of accommodation. To address this critical problem, eight small bungalows were being constructed, while a block of three-bed room flats, which would be fully furnished, were near completion. According to him, the polytechnic had been designed to make it a model institution and appealed to the Regional Coordinating Council to take up the development of the road network on the campus and also provide the principal with a decent accommodation befitting his status. 5 March 2005

NSOC 04 Social Conference Minister Poverty, conflict greatest challenges of Northern Ghana - Saddique

Tamale, March 5, GNA - The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, has stated that poverty, conflict and poor education constitute the greatest challenge facing the people of Northern Ghana. He said through actions and inactions, the people in the three Northern Regions had brought about "the present mess in which they find themselves", resulting in the stagnation of development of the area.

"We no longer have any moral right to blame any government or colonial power for this seemingly self-imposed plight. We have ourselves to blame for the path of stagnation that we have chosen for ourselves and children."

Alhaji Saddique was speaking at the opening of the fifth joint annual Northern Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary/Technical Schools (CHASS) in Tamale on Thursday.

The conference was on the theme: "The impact of poverty and conflict on quality education delivery in the Northern sector - The way forward". Heads of schools from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions are attending the three-day conference to deliberate on issues affecting the development of education.

Alhaji Saddique noted that the people in Northern Ghana had persistently engaged in conflicts resulting in the waste of scarce resources and thus distorting the allocation of the national cake for the development of the three regions.

"These perennial conflicts have direct bearing on food security and poverty, which have impacted negatively on the quality of education in the areas.

"We shall be building the pillars for quality education, increase food production, and eradicate poverty among the people if we do away with things that cause conflict and allow peace to reign", he said. Alhaji Saddique urged heads of schools and teachers to help mould the characters and future of students to enable them to assume the mantle of leadership.

He said there had been a lot of goodwill from the government and many individuals from the private sector, as well as donors to help develop the three regions and urged the people to demonstrate a sense of value and respect for human life and property to attract the needed investments.

Mr. Nabila A. Sulemana, Northern Region CHASS Chairman said heads of schools had not yet received the students' feeding grants and urged the government to expedite action on the issue.

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