May 31, 2012

Goodnews for Asessewa SHS students

Good news for students in the the Asessewa Senior High School (SHS) in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region as work is assiduously on a 500-capacity 3-storey girls dormitory block for the school to see for its completion.

The GHs 26,000.00 worth GETFUND project started about eleven (11) months ago and has already been roofed, plasted and currently being fixed with doors in windows.

 The project, which also has the senior headmistress residence attached, is a major infrastructure boost to the school especially the students.

Headmaster of the school Mr. Samuel Gyabi Yeboah explaining issues to the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Victor Smith during his tour to region dislcoed that a 2 storey boys dormitory commissioned by the President J.E.A Mills last year is currentgly being used as the girls dormitory block while a classroom block and a rented premise has been secured for the boys for the mean time.

He said the school is in so much anticipation for early completion of the project so that all the students can be conveniently housed to ensure proper security and monitoring.

The headmaster’s major concern however has to do with teachers’ accommodation, which he indicated was prohibiting academic work.

He noted that majority of teachers had to stay far away in town and that their proximity to the school would have been an advantage to the students in that they would be willing to do extra for the students.

According to him, the president’s promise to have the situation resolved is yet to be fulfilled and appealed to the Minister to assist the school to get more teachers’ accommodation.

Mr. Smith on his part highly commended the contractor working on the project, Stenkod Construction Limited, for the speedy and quality of work they have delivered so far promising that though their payment is behind schedule government will put up its best to address the issue.

He urged all contractors to emulate Stenkod Construction Limited.

May 30, 2012

Minority to boycott parliament if . . .

The Minority in Parliament has reiterated its displeasure over the Executive’s attitude towords the conduct of parliamentary business and have hinted to boycott parliament should this trend continuous.

According to them, the Executive Arm of Government by its continous absence in parliament to answer questions over some time now showed clearly that it is not serious when it comes to helping Parliament govern the  the state.

The Minority on Wednesday raised the issue on the floor of Parliament when the Minister of Health, Alban Bagbin who was supposed to answer certain question during the early stage of proceedings was absent.
The Minority obviously displeased with the turn of event asked the Speaker of Parliament Joyce Bamford Addo not to allow extended sitting when the Majority side requests so to enable it push Bills before Parliament rises.

The Minority said, if the Executive continued with the trend of absenting itself from parliament, they (minority) will boycott any extended sitting as MPs of both sides will be busily campaigning for their re-election and will not have time for extended sitting.

They said it should not be the business of the Minority to push government business in parliament and that the Majority should up its game and execute its responsibility.

IT/ICT: A tool for rapid development - lessons from India

Nicholas Awagah - The writer
"The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed"                                     

The world now revolves on the command of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and no country with a progressive philosophy can afford to be left behind.

Every aspect of human endeavor has embraced ICT not only because it is fast and easy but more importantly it helps to address more complex situations making them look very simple.
Sometime ago, ICT was a preserve of developed countries who indeed used it to their advantage including economic, political, religious among others.

In recent times, the introduction of social networking propelled by ICT was phenomenal during the Arab Spring, which brought many strong governments to their knees.

 In the same spirit, early adoption of ICT in some developing countries played significant roles in changing some sorry states that existed in those countries into a new dawn of success helping to bring massive improvements in the lives of the people.

Mention cannot be made of such countries without India.
I had the opportunity of being a delegate from Ghana among delegates from other eleven Developing Countries namely Afghanistan, Ghana, Iraq, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe on the topic: International Programme on Information Technology for Rural Development, held at the   Center For Information Technology, National Institute For Rural Development (NIRD) Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad-500 030, India, from January 17 – February 13, 2011.

The revelation was amazing, how India is making the best out of IT/ICT to solve challenges confronting its citizens.
We had the opportunity to interact with IT experts on various related topics for three weeks at the Institute-NIRD. We also visited some institutions and firms to demonstrate the best IT/ICT applications. 
To make the programme more meaningful, we had study tour to Bangalore where we were exposed to the best practices in some sectors like Education, Agriculture, Land records, e-governance, Heath and Citizen Centric Services and IT infrastructure alike.

The basic concept and philosophy that runs through the programme was how to make life easier for the citizens through the use of IT/ICT medium available by bringing governance to the door step of the citizens (e-governance) i.e. poverty reduction.

 IT/ICT plays a major role in poverty reduction and made life easier in India by making available several “one stop shops” at the disposal of the citizens. It is considered and used as a tool for rural development and not an end in itself.

Indeed, it is an eye opener. All the above initiatives in India can be applicable and adapted in Ghana using the appropriate design IT / ICT initiative, e.g , Land title registration and the issuance of development permits, monitoring the sea erosion related activities along the coast through remote sensing systems and the field of early warning regarding climate change related activities. Other suitable areas of adoption are the use of IT / ICT to enhance revenue generation through data collection, improve farming / agriculture activities as well as Health delivery i.e Tele-medicine for Rural Masses, Primary Education, Social Welfare, Rural Energy and e-Governance among others.

To achieve these, Government must assist in getting stable, regular and reliable network connectivity to the rural areas to facilitate the use of relevant IT / ICT for Rural Development and poverty reduction.
After the one month course, it can be gainsaid that the Role of IT in Rural Development is a tool which helps a country to achieve its national goals and policies. IT provides the needed information for decision making at the right time and at less cost.

By the use of I T, we are becoming able as a country to develop our rural areas as fast as we can.
In the twenty-first century, Information technology is the primary tool for each and every country to develop. It is noted that IT/ICT create, store, disseminate, bring value-addition and manage information for development.

Successful innovation, value addition and market participation increasingly depend on access to information services at the various stages of the value chain, for this, Computer education at all levels needs to be given a push otherwise, the consequences may be disastrous, Economic divide may be strengthened by technological divides, leading to multi-dimensional social problems.

Am very grateful to the India High commissioner to Ghana, Her-Excellency Ruchi Ghanashym for the opportunity.

Am also thankful to the Director General of the Institute, Shri Mathew C. Kunnumkal and the Head of the Center for Information Technology  Dr. P Satish Chandra, of the  National Institute of Rural Development, NIRD for the recognition and award given to me on the 56th, Anniversary Independent Day of India for being IT / ICT international participants from Ghana. On the award is written: “With the best compliments from Director General, NIRD”.

By: Mr. Nicholas Awagah (

The writer is a 2010-2011 ITEC/SCAAP beneficiary from the Keta Municipal Assembly-KeMA

School girl writes manifesto to contest as President of Ghana

It has been said that it is only the dead person who has no dreams and that every living person including the beggars on the street have dreams to move from their current status to a more desired stage.

It is in line with this that a 13 year old girl, Martha Boateng, a pupil of the Roses’s Memorial Academy at Lapaz near Achimota has made available to me (Godwin Allotey) a 10 point document captioned ‘My Dream for Ghana’ being her vision for Ghana, should she be the President.

Below is what she writes;

1.    If I become the President of Ghana i would first of all make sure that children selling along the streets are stopped and an avenue created for them to go back to school in order to become better people in the future.

2.    Secondly, I would build more houses to accommodate them especially those who sleep on the street as well as those who have no where to lay their heads or even afford three square meals.

3.    Thirdly, I would make sure that Senior High School (SHS) education is made free, compulsory and accessible to all.

4.    Another thing I will do should I be the president of Ghana is that I would build more libraries in each community so that children will always go there to read,  learn and expand their knowledge base.

5.    Again, I would make sure the Ministry of Education mandates each district education directorate to organize in every month at least two (2) spelling and easy competitions as well as organize district-wide free extra classes for pupils. 
By these there would be less poor performances in internal and nationally organized examinations such as the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

6.    I  learnt that although some companies have been mandated to keep our cities and towns clean, spare Zoomlion, filth still engulfs the nation. 
For this reason, I will provide refuse bins at vantage points and create avenues for more people to be employed into that sector in order to keep the country clean and healthy. I would also ensure that such mandated bodies responsible for ensuring a clean society are put on their toes.

7.    I read recently in a newspaper that unemployment rate is on the ascendency. Should I be the president I would put a number of interventions in place to reduce it and also create avenues for vacation jobs to enable students earn some money before they return back to school. I would also put measures in place to make agriculture a lucrative business to attract the youth and investors.
By this crime rate might reduced.

8.    On safety on our roads,  I would make sure road safety measure s are adhered to by careless drivers on and the road networks expanded to an appreciable level.

9.    It has been said that a wealthy nation must have healthy people, for this reason, when I become the president of Ghana, with support from internally generated funds and donor partners, I will build more hospitals in the country.

10.     Last but not least, I will allow parliament to make policies that would help check politicians who disturb or have the tendency  of destroying the peace we are currently enjoying in the country. 
This will check radio stations and media houses who allow politicians who insult one another unto their platform.