Regional News of Wed, 11 Feb 20040

Project on School for the Deaf is on course- Minister

Accra, Feb. 11, GNA- Mr. Joe Donkor, Deputy Minister of Education on Wednesday said the construction of the Girl's Dormitory block of the Gbeogo School for the Deaf in the Upper East Region has been awarded on contract to Messrs Pusab Enterprise of Bolgatanga since December 2002. The contract sum is 1.3 billion cedis.

Answering questions in Parliament, the Deputy Minister said more than 190 million cedis has been spent on the project with 16 per cent of the work completed.

Mr. John Tia, NDC- Talensi had sought to know from the Minister why construction works on the Gbeogo school had come to a standstill and if there were plans to complete it.

Mr. Donkor said the Ghana Education Service (GES) was currently undertaking the upgrading of physical infrastructure at the school and there were on-going projects being undertaken including the girl's dormitory block with funds from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund).

Other projects he said included the construction of a four-unit cluster bungalow for the school, which has been awarded to Messrs Rabest Enterprise of Bolgatanga at an initial cost of 789.5 million cedis. "Fifteen per cent of the work costing 125 million cedis has been completed, the project is ongoing", he said.

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" The construction of the boys' dormitory was awarded to Messes John Atuah Construction of Bolgatanga on 31st July, 1999. It was expected to be completed by May 2002, at 294.8 million cedis. Sixty-five per cent of works have been completed costing 172.5 million cedis," he said.

In answer to a question, the Minister said the citing of a Senior Secondary School (SSS) was based on location. "The location should be such that there should be no Senior Secondary School within 10 miles radius of a new school," he explained.

Mr. Tia had sought to know if the Minister was aware that the Talensi constituency had no Senior Secondary School and if there were plans to establish one for the area.

The Minister said in addition to location, there was the need for the new school to have a total Junior Secondary School (JSS) population of not less than 180 in its catchment area.

"Where there is the need to establish one near an existing SSS, the JSS three student population in the catchment area should be such that the new SSS, can attract at least 60 students in the rural area and 90 in the urban centres", the Deputy Minister said. More

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Mr. Donkor said the policy on teacher training in the country was still 'demand-driven'.

Mr Joe Gidisu NDC North Tongu wanted to know the latest policy on teacher training within the Ghana Education Service (GES). The Deputy Minister said districts were to sponsor candidates after they had determined their needs.

He said the districts are to form screening committees to vet candidates and select applicants who qualify for teacher training colleges, adding that Districts Directorates of Education were to present plans for meeting trained teachers needed in the district over a period of time.

He said the policy also adopted a system of IN-IN-OUT by which the first two years is spent in the college and the final year was devoted to practical teaching on the field.

Mr. Donkor explained that the first year involved consolidation of content knowledge of students, the second was on methodology and teaching practice while the final included the use of distance learning material and a mentorship support system consisting of Head teachers, classroom teachers, circuit supervisors and Link Tutors(College tutors).

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In an answer to a question, the Deputy Minister said the GES has realised the need for pupil teachers to be given some in-service training and that the Teacher Education Division has added this activity to its action plan for this year.

Mr. Yaw Asiedu-Mensah Dormaa West-NDC, had asked what steps the Ministry was taking to give in-service training to pupil teachers especially those in the pre-school.

In response to another question that stood in the name of Mr. Asiedu-Mensah as to when the Aboabo Salvation Army Senior School in the Dormaa West constituency would be absorbed into the public system, the Deputy Minister said the absorption was normally determined by the needs of the GES as well as its preparedness to assume additional financial burden entailed in such an exercise.

Source: GNA

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