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23.02.2006 Education

C22bn for needy educational institutions

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Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Members of Parliament have expressed appreciation for the allocation of 22 billion cedis from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the construction and rehabilitation of institutions for the handicapped.

They also commended the GETFund Board for the allocation of eight billion cedis to take care of the special needs schools. The Members expressed these views in a report of the Committee of the Whole on the Proposed Distribution Formula for the GETFund for the year 2006.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Freddie Blay, who moved for the adoption of the report on Thursday, said the estimated income for the 2006 formula amounted to one trillion, three hundred and thirty billion cedis depicting an increase of 21 per cent of the 2005 approved funds. He said the current formula took into account the priority needs highlighted in the strategic plan of the Ministry of Education and Sports.

According to the committee's report, the GETFund Board in arriving at the 2006 formula for the distribution of the Fund to the designated institutions was guided by various principles including the promotion of the study of mathematics, science and technology. The advancement of female education and the reduction in the level of illiteracy in disadvantaged areas were other considerations for the distribution of funds, the report said. "An amount of 13.3 billion cedis has been made available for investment in 2006. The Committee observes with satisfaction that part of the investment income among other things will be used to finance hostel projects for tertiary institutions," it said. Earlier, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communication, told the House that the Ministry was in the process of developing cyber laws to discourage the use of the internet for fraudulent activities. He expressed worry that the internet was being used for all kinds of things including pornography and fraud and said the laws in the country were not sufficient to curb some of these practices. Mr Kan Dapaah was contributing to a statement in Parliament on the need to empower small and medium scale businesses involved in the provision of information communication technology (ICT) services. The Minister said the Communication's Ministry, together with the Ministry of Education, was negotiating with a company to launch new laptop computers, which could make the purchase of computers affordable to many Ghanaians. He expressed concern that some telephone service providers were now venturing into the provision of internet services, which was making it difficult for some small local business involved in the provision of ICT services to grow. 23 Feb. 06