Semester system at the basic level has come to stay – GES

The Ghana Education Service, GES, has indicated that the newly-introduced semester-based academic calendar for public Kindergarten, Primary, and Junior High Schools has come to stay.

Speaking to Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Deputy Director-General for Quality and Access of the Ghana Education Service, Dr. Kwabena Tandoh, said the system will help ease pressure on teachers, decongest the various schools, and help align academic calendars.

“We know based on research that one of the causes of classroom absenteeism among teachers in the various schools was because some teachers sought to upgrade themselves. This is because the three-term system in the basic schools overlaps with the university system. Gradually, we are getting to the point where we can align. We are giving teachers the time, by aligning their system with the university systems to upgrade if need be.”

“Recent research in Greater Accra showed that because primary schools had a different calendar from the Junior High Schools, parents could not align. Research also showed that because the primary school children had a different timetable from the Junior High Schools when the latter was in session, attendance went down by 11%.”

He also noted that the basic school students, per the new arrangements, will spend 40 out of the 52 weeks in a year in the classroom

“When we were doing the term system, they were in school between 13 and 15 weeks per term. In this system, they will only be in school for not more than 10 weeks per time. This initial one is only because we are trying to align the timetables.”

“The mid-semester breaks, if we add the weekends will be 10 days per semester. In all, they will be in school for 20 weeks a semester and 40 weeks per year,” he added. 

Additionally, he believes the semester system will go a long way to relieve busy parents or guardians of the pressure of juggling between work and parenting. 

He further indicated that the semester system in the basic schools is “here to stay.”

“It is the new normal. We are not just introducing it to align the timetables at the various levels.”

Basic school calendar

Second and third-year students in second-cycle schools will be heading back to school on February 7, 2022.

According to a Ghana Education Service release, the first years have a tentative reopening date of April 4, 2022.

All students in basic schools will return to school on January 18.

The delays in releasing the reopening date had caused concern among stakeholders because private schools had begun their academic work.

Govt Must Scrap Teacher Trainee’s Allowances Immediately-Eduwatch

The Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare has described the payment of the teacher and nursing trainee allowances as a waste of the country’s resources.

According to him, it is unconscionable for the government to spend GH¢240 million cedis on the payment of the allowances for a year amid guarantor-free student loans.

“At least, the GHC 240 million can recruit 6,000 more teachers to fill the vacancies in deprived schools.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Africa Education Watch further urges the Minister Of Education to muster the courage and scrap the allowance.

Reference
The payment of the teacher and nursing trainee allowances was one of the major campaign promises of the New Patriotic Party after it was canceled by the erstwhile NDC Government spearheaded by John Mahama in 2015.

The NPP government promised to restore the payment of the allowance to trainees within 90 days upon assuming office.

Currently, the payment of the teacher trainee allowance is pegged at GH¢400 every month, GH¢200 is paid to the E-Zwich card of trainees while the remaining GH¢200 is paid to Ghana Tertiary Education Commission for onward disbursements to Colleges Of Education as feeding fee.It is unconscionable to spend GHC 240 million a year on teacher trainees’ allowances, amid a guarantor-free student loan, oversubscribedteacher training, and thousands of classrooms without teachers. At least, the GHC 240 million can recruit 6,000 more teachers to fill the vacancies in deprived schools. The Minister of Education should muster the courage and scrap this wasteful policy.

President Akufo-Addo To Cut Sod For STEM Academy In Accra

As part of Government’s agenda to leverage Science and Technology for socio-economic transformation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cut the sod for the building of a Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Senior High School in Accra on January 12, 2022.

The academy when completed will be a 21st century Senior High School for STEM education.

Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum said sod will be cut for other communities in the coming days as the Ministry of Education is repositioning education anchored on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

He noted that his outfit is poised to work together with contractors to complete work within schedule.

MTN Sim Re-Registration Online: How To Update Info Without Visiting Office

The latest Sim Re-Registration with a deadline of March 2022 has caused lots of queues at MTN offices nationwide. Since MTN is the biggest Telco operating in Ghana, they seem to have been burdened with a lot of pressure in registering all their users.

The system is reportedly slow and has made it difficult to register more people daily.

Luckily, there is a new online way to fill your data for MTN Ghana’s KYC (Know Your Customer) database.

In this article, we will walk you through how to update your details with MTN Ghana without having to step foot at the MTN office, thereby avoiding the queues that have characterised the procedure.

What you need to do online re-registration of MTN Ghana SIM

To successfully complete the registration of the SIM/update your details, you need to have the following details available on your phone/PC:

  • Date of Birth
  • ID Card (Ghana Card)
  • Residential address (Ghana Post GPS code) – Here is how to get it
  • Soft copy of Ghana Card (Take a photo with your phone)
  • Soft copy of you holding the Ghana CARD (Clearly showing your face and the ID Card)Once you have these, you are ready to complete the process.
  • Link your SIM Card with Ghana Card via USSDThis is the first part. Follow the steps below if you want to do the SIM Card re-registration in Ghana so that you update your details and keep your number safe.
    1. Dial *404# on the SIM Card you want to register
    2. Enter Ghana Card PIN (Enter letters and figures without the hyphens)
    3. Confirm Ghana card PIN
    4. Enter your Surname, First Name and other names
    5. Enter your Date of Birth in the format DDMMYY
    6. Select your Sex
    7. Confirm details
    8. Submit the details provided after confirmationYou are ready for Part 2Register MTN Sim Card OnlineWhen you are done with the first part, follow the steps below to update your details with the MTN Portal online:
    1. Visit https://simregistrationupdate.mtn.com.gh/ on your phone/PC
    2. Enter your phone number
    3. Wait for OTP, enter the OTP and press enter
    4. Fill in the details required on the page
    5. Upload your Ghana Card soft copy
    6. Upload a photo of you holding the Ghana Card
    7. Check the agreement to data collection box
    8. Click on Submit ConclusionIt is expected that the NCA together with the Telcos will come up with a more efficient way to go through the whole sim re-registration process, especially for corporate entities and businesses who have hundreds of SIM cards they use.Don’t forget to share this tutorial with your family and friends.

MTN Sim Re-Registration Online: How To Update Info Without Visiting Office

The latest Sim Re-Registration with a deadline of March 2022 has caused lots of queues at MTN offices nationwide. Since MTN is the biggest Telco operating in Ghana, they seem to have been burdened with a lot of pressure in registering all their users.

The system is reportedly slow and has made it difficult to register more people daily.

Luckily, there is a new online way to fill your data for MTN Ghana’s KYC (Know Your Customer) database.

In this article, we will walk you through how to update your details with MTN Ghana without having to step foot at the MTN office, thereby avoiding the queues that have characterised the procedure.

What you need to do online re-registration of MTN Ghana SIM

To successfully complete the registration of the SIM/update your details, you need to have the following details available on your phone/PC:

  • Date of Birth
  • ID Card (Ghana Card)
  • Residential address (Ghana Post GPS code) – Here is how to get it
  • Soft copy of Ghana Card (Take a photo with your phone)
  • Soft copy of you holding the Ghana CARD (Clearly showing your face and the ID Card)Once you have these, you are ready to complete the process.
  • Link your SIM Card with Ghana Card via USSDThis is the first part. Follow the steps below if you want to do the SIM Card re-registration in Ghana so that you update your details and keep your number safe.
    1. Dial *404# on the SIM Card you want to register
    2. Enter Ghana Card PIN (Enter letters and figures without the hyphens)
    3. Confirm Ghana card PIN
    4. Enter your Surname, First Name and other names
    5. Enter your Date of Birth in the format DDMMYY
    6. Select your Sex
    7. Confirm details
    8. Submit the details provided after confirmationYou are ready for Part 2Register MTN Sim Card OnlineWhen you are done with the first part, follow the steps below to update your details with the MTN Portal online:
    1. Visit https://simregistrationupdate.mtn.com.gh/ on your phone/PC
    2. Enter your phone number
    3. Wait for OTP, enter the OTP and press enter
    4. Fill in the details required on the page
    5. Upload your Ghana Card soft copy
    6. Upload a photo of you holding the Ghana Card
    7. Check the agreement to data collection box
    8. Click on Submit ConclusionIt is expected that the NCA together with the Telcos will come up with a more efficient way to go through the whole sim re-registration process, especially for corporate entities and businesses who have hundreds of SIM cards they use.Don’t forget to share this tutorial with your family and friends.

GES Drops Important Message For Teachers -See Details

The Ghana Education Service has a significant message for all teachers, especially junior and senior high school teachers. But if you are in Primary or Kindergarten, this information might be helpful to you.

This is because you might be b asked by your head teacher to step in for a teacher or to replace a teacher at the junior high or school level.

The announcement is that, the long-awaited workshop for the yet-to-be implemented Common Core Curriculum (CCC) Programme is slated to take place soon before basic schools reopen.

Information convened has it that the date for the workshop is under preparation but highly possible to commence next week.

The 5-day non-residential workshop is meant to train all junior high school teachers (Form 1- Form 3) plus all form 1 teachers in the various public senior high schools spread across the country. Worthy to note is that the upcoming workshop is compulsory for every teacher employed by the Ghana Education Service who fall in the category mentioned in paragraph one above.

As I speak, head teachers, Circuit Supervisors, District and Regional Directors of Education nationwide are being engaged in terms of planning the venues and other related items necessary for the smooth running of the workshop. I hope the workshop takes off as planned after being postponed many times last year and the supported materials for the smooth implementation of the curriculum is also ready.

Who is Asebu Amanfi, The Fanti’s Warrior

Amanfi also known as The Giant of Asebu was a Warrior King and the founder of Asebu Kingdom in the Central Region of Ghana.

The Giant of Asebu

Legend has it that there was once a giant called Asebu Amenfi with enormous strength. It is also believed that he possessed spiritual powers and the ability to do a lot of things the ordinary man could not do

He had a sister named Amenfiwaa who, according to oral tradition, was the one in charge of preparing his meals. Amenfi, perhaps due to his size and statue, was a voracious eater and Amenfiwaa had to work extra hard to satisfy her brothers appetite.

Asebu Amenfi was the person who fought and expanded the Asebu chiefdom. He possessed a magical rod which he used in his battles which is believed to exist today. His finger prints left on rocks in Asebu is testament to his existence and proof that he was a really powerful giant.

Not only was his influence felt in Asebu but other key towns such as Abrakrampa in the Central Region of Ghana.

According to oral tradition, Asebu was a giant with an unusual physical appearance and possessed spiritual powers. It is believed that he founded the Asebu Kingdom with his brother Farnyi Kwegya after they fled Egypt. Legend has it that, Asebu the giant led an army that chased the children of Israel during the Exodus. They crossed Lake Chad and went further down to Benin City and finally settled in Moore. After his men drowned, he could not return to Pharaoh around the coastal region of Southern Ghana.

He derived his name from the Memphis along the southern part of River Nile, They lived by the side of the river in the Chad territory called Sabou. It is believed that he derived his name Asebu from the river Sabou. After he arrived in Southern Ghana ,he established the kingdom together with his brother and a prolific hunter, Nana Adzekase. Asebu became the first King of Asebu Kingdom and the prolific hunter became the first Chief of Moore. They took some of the river and worshiped it as their god. When they arrived they deposited the water in the middle of their object of worship, which has become the object of worship till date. He had a sister who was called Amanfiwaa.

Asebu Amenfi’s brother, Farnyi Kwegya, took advantage of the incredible abundance of fish in the waters in the region and became the first chief fisherman.

Cultural Legacies

He was the first King of the Asebus; Amenfi I.

Asebu Amenfi was actually the person who fought, and expanded the Asebu chiefdom and Abakrampa all in the central region of Ghana.

An annual festival, Apayemkese (passover) is done in his memory.

His staff which he used for his various conquests also exists today and serves as a heritage object which accounts for his might

His finger prints left on rocks in Asebu is testament and still exist today and serve as a sacred heritage site.

His staff which he used for his various conquests also exists today and serves as a heritage object which accounts for his might.

Get to know the woman on the 50 Pesewas coin.

Rebecca Naa Dedei Norte, 1923 to 1961 was a Ghanaian Businesswoman, Political activist and a feminist.

She was popularly known for her flour business in Ghana and was very wealthy. Naa was a very close friend of Nkrumah, very Popular and was the chief financier of Nkrumah’s party.

Naa campaigned and supported Nkrumah against her own kinsman, Odartey Lamptey  and as such generated more haters for herself.

She mobilized all the market women at Accra and they voted massively for Nkrumah. She accompanied Nkrumah to a gathering at Ho in the Volta Region where she was poisoned with food and Died. She died childless. Naa invested all she has in CPP party.

She brought the idea of bringing Double – Decker transport Bushes to Accra with the help an American friend and for that reason the Bushes were named after her “Ante Dedei”

She was Honored and was placed on Ghana’s 50 pesewas coins.

Just In: Government To Cancel Teachers And Nursing Trainees Allowance

According to the report seen, the government is now conducting discussions to revise the student loan scheme.

When completed, the evaluation, according to reports, will cover teacher and nurse trainees in all tertiary institutions, including private colleges. This will eventually phase out and be replaced with the current teacher and nursing trainee allowances.

In 2012, the then-John Mahama government abolished the nurse and teacher trainee allowances. The decision was made, according to the government, to divert funds to the completion of numerous health and education infrastructure projects across the country.

To offset the impact of the allowance’s termination, the government decided to expand the student loan program to include trainee nurses and teachers. While this was going on, the then-opposition NPP, led by Nana Addo, vowed that if they were elected, they would restore the allowances. The elimination of the allowances was condemned by the opposition candidate’s running mate as a callous policy enacted by an inept government.

Ghanaians who have read the story have reacted strongly to the news. While many people couldn’t believe their eyes when they heard the news and sought to downplay it, others saw the development as unavoidable.

Many people believe the government utilized such policy as bait to get access to power. They feel the idea was doomed from the start, but the NPP government wanted Ghanaians to believe its lies, so it went ahead and implemented it to win political points.

Below Are Some Reactions From Ghanaians

Some families have to borrow to send their Wards to school

The new UNESCO 2021/2 Global Education Monitoring Report presented on Sunday at the RewirEd Forum in Dubai shows that, globally, one in six families saves to pay school fees, while 8% of families (or one in twelve) in low- and middle-income countries have to borrow money to pay for their children to go to school.

In some countries such as Uganda, Haiti, Kenya, and the Philippines, 30% or more of families have to borrow to afford their children’s education. The report calls for governments to keep to their promise of providing 1 year of pre-primary and 12 years of primary and secondary education free for all

New data show that the costs of education are falling on households disproportionately in the poorest countries. In low- and lower-middle-income countries, households cover 39% of the cost of education with the government covering the remainder, compared to only 16% in high-income countries. In Ghana, two-thirds of the total cost of education is picked up by households, while one-third is covered by governments.

Public education still has many hidden costs. About one-third of household education expenditure in low- and middle-income countries comes from households with children in public schools, rising to 51% in Ghana.

Analysis of about 100 low- and middle-income countries between 2009 and 2020 found that, on average, 3.2% of households’ financial outgoings were being spent on education. In Ghana, the share of education spending is not only the world’s largest but also increased from 8.9% in 2005/06 to 13.1% in 2016/17. Much of the cost comes from school uniforms and other school supplies; these accounted for almost two-fifths of the amount households were spending on education in 15 low and middle-income countries.

‘We have underestimated just how much families are still paying for education when according to governments it should be free’, said Manos Antoninus, Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report. ‘On top of this, the impact of COVID-19 has squeezed family budgets further. Many simply can’t afford to pay for school costs as a result. Governments must look closer at the amount that families are paying. They must focus on ensuring that education is free at the point of access – and that the poorest aren’t priced out of good quality education.”

The GEM Report warns that, without better regulations, private education choices, such as private schools, or private supplementary tuition, are pushing up these costs for households. If 3.2% of households’ outgoings are being spent on education globally on average, that rises to 6% in countries with a high percentage of private schools, such as Haiti and Lebanon, and in other sub-Saharan African countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. The costs make some education opportunities inaccessible for the poor. In Ghana, private early education and childcare provision costs 6% of annual consumption for the richest and 17% for the poorest.

Many households are also paying for private supplementary tuition, particularly during school closures – something many of the poorest cannot afford. In Myanmar, 42% of the amount households were spending on education was spent on tutoring. Currently, however, around half of countries do not regulate the practice at all.

Today, less than three-quarters of countries are regulating the number of fees that are charged by private schools, which contribute to the burden carried by households. Most private secondary schools receive at least 80% of their revenue from fees in 28 out of 51 upper-middle- and high-income education systems. In low- and lower-middle-income countries, poor parents employ a variety of strategies to cope with private school expenses. The poorest parents in Kenya and other low- and lower-middle-income countries often have to resort to schools that are unregistered and cheaper but are likely to have poor facilities and offer lower-quality instruction.

Recommendations:

Increase efforts to guarantee free, publicly funded access to a year of pre-primary and 12 years of primary and secondary education. Governments need to monitor out-of-pocket education spending with household income and expenditure surveys. Formal payments are often the only ones to which governments pay attention.

They often turn their eyes away from other less well-documented costs that increase inequality, such as private supplementary tuition. The effectiveness of policies that aim to target resources at disadvantaged learners needs to be evaluated and not assumed.

Strengthen government capacity to monitor and enforce regulations. Governments need to build a relationship of trust with non-state providers, encouraging them to register, eliminating arbitrariness in rules, and communicating the right incentives for them to run their schools effectively for learners’ benefit.