Elmina, July 11, GNA - The Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Joseph Samuel Annan, has asked Ghanaians to exercise restraint because government had laid a solid foundation for its "Better Ghana Agenda". Dr Annan, who is the Member of Parliament for the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) in the Central Region, gave the assurance at a grand durbar to climax the Bakatue Festival of the chiefs and people of the Edina Traditional area. The durbar sponsored by MTN, the leading telecommunication company in the country, was attended by a large crowd from all walks of life including tourists.
It was preceded by a procession of chiefs, queens and traditional priests and priestesses dressed in rich regalia, some of them carried in palanquins amidst drumming and dancing from the Omanhen's palace through to the durbar grounds at the forecourts of the Elmina castle. Among the various cultural groups that entertained the crowd were the Tarkwa "Adenkumfo" and "ntakuwafo of Elmina". Dr Annan noted that the "Better Ghana Agenda" was a process that could be achieved through hard work and unity and urged all Ghanaians to eschew all negative tendencies that could draw its development backwards.
On education, he said the Community Schools' Assistants Programme under the National Youth Employment Programme, had not been abolished but rather, more national service personnel would be added to beef up their numbers to help fill vacancies in all basic schools particularly those in deprived areas.
He said government had not relented in its efforts to ensure quality education for all Ghanaians at all levels and enumerated a number of interventions put in place to achieve that goal. They include the free distribution of exercise books and school uniforms and measures to put in place to abolish the shift system at the basic level, the provision of additional classrooms and dormitory blocks at the Senior High level to accommodate first year students of the four-year system.
He added that the universities, polytechnics and other tertiary institutions were all being catered for under the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to ensure quality higher education. Dr Annan said, to make the scoring of zero percent in the Municipality a thing of the past, his office had organized extra and vacation classes for Junior High School students. The MP said of the 4,000 schools being held under trees nationwide, 200 would be in classrooms before the end of the year. The Omanhen of Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI appealed for the construction of a fishing harbour to ease congestion at the landing beach, which he said now had over 800 boats and canoes landing there. He also asked government to rehabilitate the bridge over the Benya Lagoon to save it from collapse. 11 July 10