The Central Regional Minister designate, Nana Ato Arthur on Tuesday charged assembly members of the Cape Coast Municipal Assembly to help evolve more measures to facilitate the improvement in educational standards in the municipality. He expressed concern about the continuing general poor performance of candidates in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), particularly during the 2004 and 2005 academic years, and described it as "too high".
Nana Arthur, who was addressing the fourth ordinary session of the Assembly in Cape Coast, was unhappy that 1,000 and 842 of the 2,465 and 2,608 candidates presented during the years under review, failed respectively.
He regretted that Cape Coast was gradually losing its accolade as the cradle of education, at the basic level, and stressed that it would require the concerted efforts of all stakeholders in education to help improve the situation.
He said as a remedial measure, the Assembly had earmarked an amount of 50 million cedis to support the municipal directorate of education towards the best teacher awards, to motivate hard working teachers. Nana Arthur, who is also the Acting Municipal Chief Executive, further expressed concern about the low patronage of the National Health Insurance Scheme in the municipality, and that of the 42,000 persons registered, only 636 have fully paid up their premiums, while 156 had partially paid theirs, which amounts to 62,510,000 cedis. He urged the Assembly Members to help intensify education on the need to desist from abusing or politicising the scheme to help in its smooth implementation.
He said the Assembly had drawn up a comprehensive programme, including a "massive clean up exercise" to combat the "ever increasing problem" of sanitation, which he stressed, if well managed, would minimize malaria and other communicable diseases, and also help boost tourism.
The session was attended by a five-member delegation from Gouda City in the Netherlands, which is currently visiting the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District Assembly with which it has a sister-city relationship, to help construct a re-cycling plant at Elmina.