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15.12.2005 Regional News

Ghana Statistical Service urged to close gap on available date

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Ho, Dec.15, GNA - Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister has called on the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to close the wide gap between available data and data used by Ghanaians. He said in a situation where data being used "is not the norm" the Service should make attempts to coax target groups to accept and seek data as a crucial ingredient in successful planning. Mr Dzamesi made the call in a speech read for him at a dissemination seminar on the 2000 Population and Housing Census and the 2003 Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire (CWIQ 11) at Ho on Thursday. Participants to the seminar were also from the Eastern and Greater Accra regions. The seminar among other objectives is to present to stakeholders an analysis of the 2000 Population and Housing Census, create awareness about the nature of data, reports available, discuss ways of improving future census and other surveys.

Mr Dzamesi said data was a basic requirement for planning and a vital ingredient in national development efforts and the lack and use of accurate data, particularly population data was a major drawback to development. The Regional Minister said the heavy capital outlay entailed in gathering data, especially census, made it imperative that the results were used. "Data must be aggregated and interpreted into useful information to guide policy makers and implementers in their programming and decision making," He said.

Professor Nicholas N. Nsowah-Nuamah, Deputy Statistician suggested the introduction of statistics as a subject in Senior Secondary Schools to demystify the subject. He said the Government might have to consider reintroducing the post basic teacher-training course that existed in the past to solve the problem of shortage of teachers for basic schools resulting from high enrolment in the wake of the implementation by Government of the policy of fee-free basic education.

Professor Nsowah-Nuamah said the seminars were to extend discussion engendered by the launch of the two documents during the celebration of the Ghana Statistical week in Accra from November 14-20 to the regions. Mr Kodzo Adagnu, Vice Principal of Ho Polytechnic said the dissemination and usage of survey results was a challenge to stakeholders in national development.

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