General News of Fri, 30 Jan 20040

Appointment of GES head based on fairness- Minister

Accra, Jan. 30, GNA- Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS), on Friday said the appointment of a qualified person to the position of a Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) should not be based on age, gender or tribal affiliation but on equity, fairness and justice.

"The GES Act, 1995, Act 506, does not make age a barrier for the appointment of a Director-General," the Minister said in Parliament in reaction to a question from Nana Asante Frempong, NPP-Kwabre who wanted to find out from the Ministry if it was a good policy to appoint as Director-General, people who on the grounds of age can only serve for two years before retiring from the service.

Mr. Baah-Wiredu said: "the most important additional consideration in the appointment of a Director-General of the GES is the person's distinguished educational pedigree, experience, competence and ability to fast track, monitor and re-engineer educational programmes to meet the aspirations of the educational sector."

"I must emphasise therefore that the Ministry will continue to sanction appointments of the Director-General's on these criteria." In answer to another question on salary discrepancies among some teachers by Mr. Joe Gidisu, NDC-North Tongu, the Minister said salary discrepancies arose mainly from human and machine errors.

He said when such errors were brought to the attention of the GES they were dealt with expeditiously by the Integrated Personal Payroll Data Unit, adding that the unit has been strengthened "to enhance its operational efficiency and to avoid any discrepancies."

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Mr. Baah-Wiredu also announced that the Nyakrom Secondary Technical School has been selected ahead of Kwanyako Secondary Technical School as the model school for the Agona District in the Central Region.

A question that stood in the name of Mr. Samuel Adu-Yeboah, NDC-Agona East had sought to know if Kwanyako School was the selected model school and what was being done to improve its infrastructure. The Minister said initially the school had been selected but was dropped in favour of Nyakrom Secondary School because it has a higher enrolment figure of 421 as against Kwanyako's 231.

He said Nyakrom also had a higher academic performance and high number of teachers.

When Mr. Abuga Pele, NDC-Chiana/Paga, had sought to know what criteria were used in the selection of a model school, Mr. Baah-Wiredu said he needed time to furnish the house with such details.

Mr. E.T. Mensah, NDC-Ningo/Prampram was not satisfied with the answer and said since the establishment of model schools was part of the NPP's governments' campaign promises, the Minister should be able to tell the house offhand about the criteria for choosing models schools without asking for more time to bring the details. To a question on teacher's accommodation, the Minister said under the Non Project Assistance founded by the USAID, a four-unit teacher accommodation has been completed at Agona Doutu ADA Primary School in the Central Region.

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He said the programme was ongoing and it would be extended to other towns in the region.

Earlier, Mr. Felix Owusu-Adjapong had told the house that five Ministers including the Minster of Trade, Industry and the President's Special Initiatives (PSIs) would be in next week to answer questions. Presenting the business statement for the third week ending Friday, February 6, the Minister said the debate on the President's State of the Nation address would continue.

He said the leadership of the house would also meet in Elmina to plan strategies for the "expeditious consideration of the budget estimates to enable the house to pass the Appropriations Bill by March 12, 2004."

Source: GNA

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