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19.10.2005 Education

Obuasi Assembly to enact byelaws to improve basic education

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Obuasi, Oct. 19, GNA - The Obuasi Municipal Assembly (OMA) is to enact two bylaws to strengthen efforts at improving academic performance, especially in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in public basic schools in the municipality. The first bylaw would seek to enforce the use of English language as the medium of expression in all public basic schools whilst the second would ban the use of mobile phones by public basic schoolteachers in the classroom during instructional periods. The Assembly took these decisions when the members discussed recommendations in a report submitted by a three-man committee tasked to investigate why private basic schools perfor med better than the public schools in the BECEs in the municipality.

The committee, which was chaired by Mr Bortey Quao, Chairman of the Finance and Administration Sub-committee of the Assembly, suggested among other things the enactment of the bylaws to help bridge the gap in performance between the private and the public schools. Contributing to the discussion, Mr Joe Boampong, Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, said there was the need for the Assembly to come out with measures that would help improve academic performance in public basic schools.

The committee observed that though the municipality had earned remarkable achievements in the BECE, placing fifth and first respectively in the national BECE league table in 2003 and 2004, a glance at the performance list of individual schools in the municipality showed that the public basic schools had not contributed much to the honours.

The Assembly therefore called for effective supervision in the public schools to keep both teachers and pupils on their toes. The committee urged the Assembly to phase out the shift system by providing more school structures to accommodate the increasing school population in the municipality.

The Assembly encouraged all stakeholders in education to support the vigorous enforcement of the previous bylaws that placed curfew on school-going children from 8 o'clock in the night and the ban on video and snooker games in the municipality. The Assembly further tasked the Education Sub-committee to provide monitoring checks on the District Education Directorate and the public basic schools.

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