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Ghana’s strategy in fighting Covid-19 ahead of many countries — Oppong Nkrumah

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Ghana’s strategy in fighting Covid-19 ahead of many countries — Oppong Nkrumah 

Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah – Information Minister

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, wants Ghanaians to have confidence in the numerous strategies the government has introduced to contain the coronavirus in Ghana.

According to him, many of the measures that have been announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo and his officials are ahead of those in other countries.

“I think we should begin to notice that a lot of the things Ghana is doing, the world is now catching up,” he said Sunday on Beyond the Lockdown a discussion programme on Joy News that looks at national anti-coronavirus measures post a three-week lockdown in some parts of the country.

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Citing events in the United Kingdom, for instance, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the European country was now talking about a mandatory quarantine of persons who are coming into the country.

The government of Ghana in March directed the Immigration Service and other state agencies to hold people arriving in the country for 14 days for testing and contact tracing.

Some 500 persons were placed under mandatory quarantine in an unnamed hotels in Accra at a cost to the government.

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Also, the government took a bold step to ban the entry of persons in Ghana from countries with more than 200 cases.

Using the UK as an example, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said while Ghana has already introduced the mandatory quarantine measures and even gone on to ban entry for some selected travellers, the UK was now introducing similar measures.

Face masks

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Ghana’s Health Ministry has directed food vendors, market traders and commercial bus drivers to wear face masks at all times.

Under the new directive, commuters on public transport, persons in commercial centres, facilities and buildings but “not limited to offices, bars, workshops, restaurants, sports arenas, spas, salons, shopping malls, churches, clinics, hospitals and all facilities accessible to the public whether private or public” are also to wear face masks at all times.

Using the UK, again to show Ghana’s measures are a step ahead of other countries’, he said the European country was yet to introduce a similar measure to prevent the spread of community infection of the contagious disease.

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“They [the UK] are now talking about the mandatory wearing of masks. We have had our Ministry of Health issue that order in accordance with the Public Health Act (Act 851) which now makes it mandatory in Ghana for some categories of persons to wear masks.

“So there are number of things that we are doing that makes our case and our scenario a bit different from what people are doing out there. We are happy that some persons are beginning to learn from what we are doing here,” he said.

Source: sintimmedia.com

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Education

Government spent GH¢40.4 billion on education between 2017 and 2020 – President Akufo-Addo

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“EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION INCREASED BY 95% IN MY TIME” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

President of Ghana. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

“So great has this government’s commitment to education been that public expenditure on education has almost doubled from twenty billion, seven hundred million cedis (GH¢20.7 billion) between 2013 and 2016, that is in the Mahama era, to forty billion, four hundred million cedis (GH¢40.4 billion) between 2017 and 2020, that is in the Akufo-Addo era, representing an increase of some ninety five percent (95%).”

These were the words of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 4th January 2022, when he delivered a speech at the 6th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi.

Addressing the gathering at the event, President Akufo-Addo noted that GNAT is what it is today because of the work of its past and current membership and leadership, and he assured that, under his administration, the work undertaken by the membership and leadership of the Association will not be in vain.

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The President, thus, used the opportunity to thank all teachers in the country for the work they did, and continue to do, in ensuring that the education of Ghanaian children, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has not been truncated.

“Continuous assessment, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have all been written by thousands and thousands of students, under your care and guidance, in conditions of safety and orderliness, and without incident. The nation is extremely appreciative of these acts of selflessness and patriotism,” he said

According to President Akufo-Addo, his vision of a modern, competitive, Ghanaian economy, spearheaded by indigenous entrepreneurs, with productive employment for the great majority of its citizens, requires skilled economic actors, and to get there, the nation needs an educated workforce.

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“Through the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, we are ensuring that value is being added to the intellect of every Ghanaian child. This is our surest way of succeeding in adding value to the Ghanaian economy, thereby helping to create acceptable, well-paying jobs for the young people of our country,” he said.

The President continued, “For us, in Ghana, also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a group of well trained and motivated teachers that can help deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy and nation”.

Outlining the many initiatives implemented by Government since 2017, he stated that his government has restored, since coming into office five years ago, and continues to pay, teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.

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“In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries over the last five (5) years, my government is, for the first time in our nation’s history, paying a professional allowance to teachers. We have abolished the three (3) months’ pay policy for teachers, we have cleared the arrears, and promotions due teachers have also been effected,” he said.

He stressed that to prevent undue delays in promotion of qualified teachers, Government will, in 2022, improve on the conduct of the aptitude test instituted by the Ghana Education Service, leveraging on lessons learnt from the one conducted in 2021.

Affordable Housing for Teachers

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“Government is also committed to the development of affordable housing for teachers all across the nation. The current initiative will involve the provision of housing for both mortgage and rental. I am fully aware that one challenge facing teacher ownership of homes beyond finance is their inability to purchase homes where they intend to retire,” he said.

Through a subsidised loan programme, President Akufo-Addo indicated that teachers will be provided an opportunity to own houses in desired locations in various parts of the country, stating that the Ministry of Education is working with the National Service Scheme on this.

In addition, the Ministry of Works and Housing is in discussion with teacher unions to provide more housing opportunities for teachers.

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“Within the next two years, it is proposed that ten thousand (10,000) housing units on affordable terms will be developed for teachers across the country. This, as we all know, is the tip of the iceberg, but it is a good beginning,” he added.

Touching on the vexed issue of laptops for teachers, President Akufo-Addo was glad the supply of laptops was appreciated by teachers, and promised that the other related matters of concern will be addressed.

“Good relations between GNAT and my government are matters of importance to me, and I will do my best to promote such relations,” he added.

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Source: The Presidency

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