Ketu South MP, Pencils of Promise cut sod for kindergarten block

Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the Member of Parliament for Ketu South, and Pencils of Promise (PoP), a non-profit organsation, has cut the sod for construction of a two-unit kindergarten (KG) block for the Yame-Lente Basic School.

The construction work, to commence in February, is expected to be completed in about three months to replace the dilapidated block currently accommodating the 60 young learners.

Mr Freeman Gobah, the Country Director of PoP, speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony, said the organisation, which operated in the Volta, Eastern and Oti regions, would bear 80 per cent of the cost, while the community bore 20 per cent.

He asked for collaboration from community members for early completion of the project to provide a conducive environment for the young learners.

The organisation, he noted, was committed to improving quality education in less privileged schools and communities.

Madam Gomashie, for her part, said she would provide trips of sand and gravel as part of the community’s 20 per ce
nt contribution to the project.

She appealed to the community members to willingly come out in their numbers to provide labour to ensure the work was completed on schedule.

That would provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning, she said, adding: ‘My passion is the human capital development of my constituents.’

‘Let’s be concerned about the education of our children. Education is an enabler. It breaks barriers.’

‘They may not have jobs after graduation but what they might have acquired cannot be taken away from them. Knowledge is enough to build our society.’

Torgbui Atikpa III, the Chief of Yame, assured the gathering that his people would readily provide the labour while he would ensure the provision of water at the site.

‘And for stealing of construction materials, be assured that it would not happen here. Security will be tight and anybody who tries will regret it,’ he said.

Mr Ephraim Kassegni, the Head teacher of the school, expressed gratitude for the support as it would be a great
relief to the pupils and impact on enrolment.

‘We used to hold the KG classes under trees but later through the Parent-Teacher Association and the School Management Council, we got this structure, which is in a bad state now,’ he said.

‘During rainy seasons, classes cannot hold. The KG pupils were 84, but now, 54. Currently, we have a combined KG class occupying the primary one classroom while a combined class of primary one and two use the classroom meant for primary two.’

Mr Amenorvi Ahiafor, a resident, expressed willingness to support the work when construction starts.

‘I’ll come here to help before going out for my menial job because that will be my own’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Teach2Teach International launches educational initiative

Teach2Teach International, and Centre for Literacy and Vocational Support, have launched their Community Volunteer Teacher (CVT) and Radio Broadcast Programme that would help ensure effective teaching and learning in hard-to-reach communities in the Northern and Savannah Regions.

Teach2Teach International is a United Kingdom registered charity organisation while Centre for Literacy and Vocational Support is an NGO based in Tamale.

As part of the launch, a total of 15 CVTs have been deployed to teach in five basic schools in the two regions for seven months (January to July) to ensure that pupils in the areas have the full benefit of teaching and learning while 16 pre-recorded educational radio programmes would also be aired to communities for one and a half months.

The CVTs were Senior High School leavers, who were recruited, trained, and deployed to hard-to-reach communities to teach and they would stay in the communities to teach as resident CVTs.

The schools included Waribogu Kukuo Ahmadiyya Primary S
chool at Tolon District, Kpunduli Primary School at Nanton District, and Tutingyili Primary School at Savelugu Municipality in the Northern Region, and Sankpala Holy Rosary Primary School at Central Gonja District in the Savannah Region.

Alhaji Mohammed Alhassan Karimu, Executive Director, Centre for Literacy and Vocational Support, speaking during the press launch of the initiative in Tamale, said it was to ensure that ‘Lateness, and absenteeism that we experience in some of our schools regarding teachers will be eliminated so that children will have the fullest benefit of teaching and learning in their schools.’

He said the CVTs underwent training on pedagogical skills, lesson plan preparation, and use of teaching and learning resources to ensure effective teaching and learning for pupils at the lower primary school level.

Alhaji Karimu spoke about the radio programme saying ‘We have identified communities and we have established community listener groups and play radio programmes through radios to commu
nity members to listen to and phone in. This gives them the opportunity to tell their stories. Some have schools that do not have teachers, and furniture. With this, we give them the opportunity to air their voices to let the public know about them.

He urged the CVTs to apply the lessons taught them to effectively deliver lessons to children in the schools.

Anita Lowenstein Dent, Founder, Teach2Teach International, expressed the organisation’s commitment to ensuring quality education in the country.

Hajia Katumi Natogmah Attah, Northern Regional Director of Education, lauded the initiative saying it was a significant step to enhancing quality education and fostering a collaborative approach to learning in communities. She urged all to embrace the initiative with enthusiasm and chart a positive way for improving education for children.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Farm Radio TVET quiz competition held in Takoradi

Farm Radio, an enterprise, using the power of radio to project societal issues, has organised a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) quiz competition for some technical institutes within the Western Region.

The quiz competition, which centred on theory and practical aspects of Electricals, Auto Mechanics, Welding and Fabrication saw the Takoradi Technical Institute, Essipon; Sekondi/Takoradi and the Opportunity Industrialisation Training Centre and the Kwansa Motors Institutes competing.

Ms Rosetta Atiso, the Project Officer, Farm Radio International said, the TVET Quiz competition was conceptualized to increase awareness of the sector and the need for more youth particularly the girl child to take advantage of such technical and vocational courses to better their lots.

‘We want to change perceptions about TVET and also increase girls’ participation in the area as well as boosting the confidence level of students in Technical Institute,’ she added.

After the competition, the Sekondi/Takora
di Technical Institute won the Auto mechanic session with 127 points, Opportunity Industrialization Training Institute took the electrical prize with 100.5 points while, and Takoradi Technical Institute emerged as the winner in the Welding and Fabrication contest with 111 points.

Rahmat Issah Fynn, a Contestant was happy that such initiatives had been introduced to shed light on the TVET sector for the overall benefit of society.

Mr. Richard Goddard, a Volunteer with Farm Radio and Journalist from Canada expressed satisfaction about the passion exhibited by the students…’ please hold on to it and ensure higher excellence in future endeavours.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

YIF offers scholarships for Ghanaian Female Students

Yassir International Foundation (YIF) in partnership with Lions Training Institute Scholarship Initiative and Association of Spouses of Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations (ASOHOM) offered scholarships to 11 female students.

This is to enable them to acquire skill training at the Lions Training Institute which is in partnership with Ghana Christian University College.

The female students are to learn fashion design, cosmetology, aviation management and Catering and Hospitality management among others for a year or nine months.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Seidu Yassir CEO of YIF explained that the scholarship was also opened to brilliant but needy female students in the Zongo communities across Ghana.

He said the annual scholarship programme was on the theme, ‘Empowering Futures Transforming Lives’ aimed to break the gap in education between boys and girls in the Zongo communities.

He said, ‘We are giving out the scholarship to female students in Zongo commu
nities and so far, we have 11 ladies we are sponsoring this year.’

‘This will enable them to acquire essential skills that will increase their employability in future and also contribute to the development of the nation.’

He urged the students to make good use of the opportunity and learn hard to make themselves and the sponsors proud.

‘The future is going to be brighter depending on the students, they need to learn harder and must know why they are here.’ He expressed

Mr. Bartimeaus Asmah, Founder and President of the Lion Training Institute expressed gratitude to YIF and pledged to continue to work together for the development of the nation.

He said, ‘Our aim Is to inspire and attract young women, to promote and empower them to compete in the job market.’

‘We are also calling on other organisations, and individuals to support us, we believe in providing equal opportunities to our females to excel.’

Vanessa Annor one of the beneficiaries from Accra Newtow thanked the sponsors for letting her dream com
e through.

She said, ‘I’m here to learn a Fashion Designing and my goal is to become one of the best Fashion Designers in future to be able to open a big container and to also impact the knowledge and the skills I will acquire here to others.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government must strengthen youth-focused policies to empower future generation

Neenyi Ghartey VII, Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has advocated the strengthening of youth-focused policies that promote quality education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship to empower the next generation to contribute their quota to national development.

He stated that government policies must facilitate the collaboration of educational institutions with industries, to align curricula with market demands, and help avert potential threats like the current economic challenges and unemployment, sweeping through Africa, which warranted immediate attention.

Neenyi Ghartey who is also the Effutu Oma Odefe (Paramount Chief of Effutu Traditional Area), made the call when he addressed the first session of the 28th Congregation of the UEW, which commenced on January 22 and climaxed on Saturday, January 27, at Winneba.

More than 15,000 students from Business, Education, Vocational Education, Technical Education, Applied Science and Mathematics, Education and Communication departm
ents graduated.

The rest are Science Education, Education and General Studies, Environment and Health Education, Foreign Languages Education, Ghanaian Languages, School of Communication and Media Studies, Education Studies and School of Business, Social Science Education, Science Education, Creative Arts and School of Graduates studies.

The Chancellor stated that strengthening youth-focused policies will equip the workforce with relevant skills, especially in emerging sectors like technology and green industries, to bridge the skills gap and increase employment.

There was the need for the government to also launch targeted and time-bound employment initiatives that focused on labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing, he stated.

According to him, this could provide immediate relief to the unemployed while fuelling economic growth along with revamping dedicated programmes to equip young people.

It should provide training, mentorship, and funds to support the development of the next ge
neration of job creators.

‘By supporting existing downturns due to external shocks, strengthening vulnerable sectors, and encouraging innovation, the government can safeguard jobs and promote long-term sustainability,’ he indicated.

Neenyi Ghartey VII expressed the need for the government to accelerate the transformation of the digital economy to leverage its potential to generate jobs and transform traditional industries.

He noted that it was crucial to revolutionalise and establish vigorous social safety nets to cushion the impact of economic challenges on vulnerable populations, saying targeted assistance programmes could ensure that basic needs were met while maintaining social stability.

The government must enhance transparency in its governance spending and resource allocation and the citizens must hold public officials accountable for their actions and ensure efficient use of resources to rebuild public trust.

He stated that if these swift and resolute measures were taken, it would demonstrate the
government’s commitment to address the pressing economic and unemployment concerns of Ghana.

He told the graduates that their education had armed them with an inimitable set of skills and knowledge which could be harnessed to drive positive change and foster economic growth.

‘Joblessness is not just a challenge, it is an opportunity for novelty and transformation, hence the need to embrace your role as a graduate, by adopting a proactive mindset rather than waiting for the perfect job to come your way, consider becoming a job originator,’ he stated.

He advised them to further build their capacities to enhance their skills to keep them adaptable in the face of the rapidly evolving job landscapes.

‘Remember that economic growth should align with ethical and sustainable practice and as graduates, your actions will impact not only on the economy but also the societal well-being.’

He therefore urged them to strive to contribute positively, while upholding ethical standards when working, he added.

Source: Gh
ana News Agency

First visually impaired PhD holder graduates from UCC

Dr Ben Bishop Nyanihorba Ayamba, the first visually impaired person to ever attain a PhD from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has successfully graduated at the university’s just-ended 56th Congregation.

He graduated with a doctorate degree in Guidance and Counselling having gone through the seven-year rigorous and demanding journey from 2016 to 2023.

He was one of the 103 PhD graduates who were among a total of 3,034 postgraduate students who graduated on Friday.

For his feat, Dr Ayamba received the Special Chancellor’s Award of US $2,000, amid applause and celebration from the entire congregation.

In total, UCC graduated 18,539 undergraduate and postgraduate students at the 56th congregation which commenced on Tuesday, January 23 to Friday, January 26.

Dr Ayamba, who was born sighted, lost his sight in an accident on Tuesday, August 08, 1995, while driving and disrupting his smooth academic journey.

Still determined to proceed on the academic path, he was rehabilitated at the School of the Blind at
Akropong on Saturday, November 11 that year.

In November 1996, he went to the Presbyterian Training College of Education at Akropong to begin a three-year Cert A course after which he was posted to teach at the Ntonso LA Junior High School (JHS) in September 1999.

After two years, he pursued his first degree at UCC where he studied B. ED Psychology, majoring in English, from 2001 to 2004.

Fortunately, he was appointed to teach English at the Mampong Technical College of Education on August 31, 2004, and after three years, he returned to UCC for his MPhil in Guidance and Counsel from 2007 to 2010.

Upon completion, he returned to teach at the Mampong Technical College of Education where he will be retiring in 26 days.

He also teaches part-time at the UCC College of Distance Education (CoDE).

In 2016, Dr Ayamba started his pursuit for PhD in Guidance and Counselling which he successfully completed in 2023.

Dr Ayamba attributed his feat to God, his determination and finding himself in a supportive and cond
ucive learning environment.

He noted that the resource centre for Persons with Disabilities at UCC was extremely supportive in his first and second degrees which made lectures quite easy.

He said the centre helped him in transcribing his scripts, gave him digital access to the computers at the centre and fitted his computer with all the assistive devices he required.

‘The Lecturers were also helpful; knowing our situation, especially those of us with visual impairment, they put the right methodologies in place to help us get the content and the necessary skills and competencies before completion,’ he said.

Dr Ayamba entreated parents of children with disabilities to seek guidance and support to enrol them in the appropriate institutions to unearth their potential and interests, instead of hiding them from society.

‘Some parents think once the child is disabled, he cannot do anything. They should contact the social welfare and the Ghana Blind Union and other organisations for the physically challenged,’ h
e said.

‘There are a lot of educational facilities and rehabilitation centres to assess the capabilities of the child to know where they fit best; whether in an inclusive school, a mainstreaming school or to be placed in a special school,’ he added.

Dr Ayamba indicated that even though he was retiring in 26 days, he was still available for the nation having bagged a PhD in Guidance and Counselling.

Prof Johnson Nyarko Boampong, the Vice Chancellor of UCC, challenged the graduates to believe in their abilities and dare to climb higher heights in every endeavour.

He urged them to reflect on their goals and set out clear strategies to achieve their dreams with hard work and dedication.

‘We have empowered you with knowledge and skills that will enable you to make a positive impact in society and the world at large.

‘It is our hope that having received quality education and skills, you do not wait to be employed by the government. Go out there and create jobs for yourselves,’ he said.

Prof Boampong urged al
l stakeholders to continue to work hard to ensure that UCC attained its vision of being a globally acclaimed university for innovative teaching, research, outreach, and professional development.

He assured that the School of Graduate Studies would promulgate policies that would ensure the quality and relevance of postgraduate programmes to socio-economic development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

MTN Ghana Foundation rescues dream of a bright doctor, 11 others

Belinda Obour had become desperate for help after tragically losing her guardian who was taking care of her tertiary education at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in the Central Region.

Her dream of becoming a medical doctor had drifted to the edge, slowly slipping down to shatter right before her eyes with no sign of hope in sight.

Belinda’s main headache was how to generate money to pay for her tuition and accommodation throughout the five years she had left to complete her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery programme.

Dropping out of school was not an option for her and with a fire of determination and perseverance burning through her heart, she made relentless efforts to get regular support, all of which came to naught.

Fortunately, Belinda, through the support of her roommate and her family, was introduced to MTN Ghana Foundation’s Bright Scholarship which takes care of needy but brilliant students at all levels of education.

She immediately applied for a scholarship but was rolled onto the Foundat
ion’s Emotive Scholarship which is just like the Bright Scholarship.

The Foundation effectively rescued Belinda’s dying dream by paying for her tuition and handing her stipends throughout her stay in school.

‘Initially, it was tough, but it became a little more bearable and easier because I knew that the financial burden was not for me to think about.

‘Now, I am assured that every year, my fees are going to be paid and so I just had to put in my best and make sure I meet the demands for renewal every year,’ she recounted.

Dr Belinda Obour shared her experience with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the ongoing 56th congregation of UCC during which she graduated with 11 other beneficiaries of the Scholarships.

All 12 MTN-sponsored graduands passed colourfully with every one of them getting first class or second class upper.

The others include Mr Ebenezer Bambel, Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting); Mr Andreas Vanderpuye, BSc Laboratory Technology; Mr Clifford Nyarko, BSc Actuarial Science, Mr Fenuku Aaron BSc
Medical Laboratory Science; Ms Jennifer Nyameba Bonsu, Bachelor of Education (Arts) and Mr Illy Samuel, Bachelor of Education (Social Studies).

‘For you to be a brilliant and needy student, you really have to live up to it and so it means every year, you cannot disappoint those who are taking care of you just as you cannot disappoint your parents.

‘So, if you don’t put in your best, it means someone out there you who might have needed that money will be denied,’ she said.

She described MTN Ghana as a lifesaver, ‘it made me have a clear conscience to learn and focus on my education throughout the five years of my education.’

Dr Belinda Obour has now been posted to work with a government facility.

Mr Ebenezer Bambel, a Bright Scholarship beneficiary, who also shared his story revealed that he would have dropped out of school but for the scholarship.

Full of praise and gratitude, he recounted how MTN absorbed 100 per cent of his tuition and accommodation fees since he was enrolled in 2019.

In addition to
that, he received stipends frequently.

‘So, that burden of looking for somebody to pay my school fees was catered for by MTN, giving me the luxury and time to focus on my academics. If I had books to purchase, the stipends were able to go through for me,’ he said.

‘I thank MTN Foundation for the opportunity they have given me and that I have been able to attain my first degree.

‘It has been a very big opportunity for me to be enrolled and to attain this height; today I am so happy that I was able to graduate with first class,’ he added.

Mr Bambel is now working with the Sales and Distribution Division of MTN in Accra as a National Service Personnel.

‘God bless all the team of MTN and the Foundation for their support,’ he said.

Mr George Kyei Frimpong, Educational Portfolio Advisor, MTN Ghana Foundation, noted that the Foundation was investing a lot in students and projects to enhance education in Ghana.

He said the Foundation had sponsored about 800 students under the Bright Scholarship alone so far.

Last year alone, he said the Bright Scholarship sponsored 120 students but could not put a number on the beneficiaries of the other scholarships.

‘We are taking care of students at all levels of education including primary, secondary, and tertiary and giving them employable skills.

‘If we had not invested in them, their lives may have been in a mess but today they have graduated with flying colours and some of them have already started working,’ he said.

Mr Frimpong stressed that the MTN Ghana Foundation was putting its investments to good use and reaping from the performances of the beneficiaries.

Source: Ghana News Agency