A Head teacher in the Nkoranza Municipality has observed that some parents and guardians deny children breakfast because of the School Feeding Programme (SFP).
He said the provision of meal by the SFP should not be basis for parents and guardians to renege on their responsibility to feed pupils in the morning before seeing them off to school.
Mr Isaiah Fiatuse, Head teacher of Akropong Junior High School (JHS), made the observation at Schools Performance Appraisal Meeting, aimed at discussing causes of falling standard of education in the community.
The Head teacher said denying children food would make them vulnerable to sickness and negatively affect their learning capacity.
Madam Philippa Banson, Municipal Director of Education appealed to stakeholders to assist Government to shoulder the responsibilities pertaining to quality education.
She said out of 42 JHSs, the Akropong JHS was last with 22.86 per cent in the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination.
Madam Banson expressed disappointment at the poor performance of the students.
A Senior State Attorney in Brong-Ahafo Region says the judiciary needs a special court to facilitate speedy prosecution of illegal and other mining related cases in the country.
Mr Ernest Offei Aryeh said at the opening session of a two-day seminar for prosecutors and Judges on the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (703) in Sunyani that the unit will solely be responsible for prosecution of illegal mining activities.
It was organized by the Chamber of Mines in collaboration with Ahafo mine of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) and aimed at sensitizing participants on the Act.
Mr Aryeh observed that cases of illegal mining and related issues were piled up at the various courts and because prosecution was very slow most of them had been pending for some years.
He emphasized that the establishment of the special court would not only facilitate speedy prosecution of cases but also encourage interested judges and prosecutors to specialize in mining.
Justice Dennis Adjei, an Appeal Court Judge warned that gold smuggling was a serious offence punishable by death and culprits would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
He said an effective collaboration between the minerals commission, chamber of mines and the judiciary was needed for effective and fast prosecution of mining related cases.
Justice Adjei observed that the seminar was very important because if the participants were well informed about the Act, prosecution of cases of illegal mining would be sped up.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Kofi Boakye, Ashanti Regional Police Commander observed that contributions of the Minerals Commission toward enforcement of the Minerals and Mining Act were not encouraging.
He noted that interpretation of sections of the Act 703 was problematic as it lacked and was silent about some basic ingredients required for prosecutions of cases.
DCOP Boakye said the Act needed urgent review and some amendments.
Five Senior High Schools (SHS) are to be constructed in Brong-Ahafo Region, under the government’s first batch of the Community SHS project in the country.
The SHSs are to be situated at Krobo in Techiman North District, Danyame in Dormaa Municipality, Kassapin in Asunafo North Municipality, Anyima in Kintampo South and Derma in Tano South Districts.
Each of the schools will have three blocks of four-storey each to include 24 classrooms and eight offices for departmental heads, four well equipped laboratories for chemistry, Physics and Biology as well as ICT laboratory and two libraries.
Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister who disclosed this said works on the projects would commence soon and appealed to general public to lend their support by monitoring the project to avoid shoddy works.
He was addressing a parade of more than 3,800 school children and contingent of security personnel from the Police, Military, Fire Service, Prisons, Immigration and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani to commemorate the 57th Independence Day celebration.
This year’s celebration is on the theme “building a better and prosperous Ghana through patriotism and national unity’
Mr Aidoo emphasized that education continued to take about one-third of the national budget but regretted that in-spite of the tremendous efforts to advance education, examination results always fell below expectation.
He commended teachers for their hard work and dedication in helping to raise the standard of education and asked them to be diligent in their duties as professionals and maintain a high level of discipline in schools.
Touching on the anniversary theme, the Regional Minister stressed the importance for Ghanaians to foster a sense of nationhood and promote national unity in all endeavours.
Mr Aidoo said any country that valued the development of its people ought to incorporate a sense of patriotism and national unity and entreated Ghanaians not to allow race, religions and ethnicity to divide them.
Some of the participating schools including Senior High ones in the march past were presented with prizes.
Mrs Freda Prempeh, Member of Parliament for Tano North Constituency, has called for an extension in maternity leave for mothers to regain their potentials.
She said the three months stipulated leave granted expectant and nursing mothers was not enough for them to recover well.
Speaking to Moonlite News in a telephone interview to mark this year’s celebration of the International Women Day, Mrs Prempeh said all inclusive effort was needed to tackle cultural and traditional issues affecting women.
The International Women Day, which falls in March 8, every year is a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to champion the course of women in highlighting the role they played in nation building.
Globally, the day is celebrated under the theme “inspiring change” but Ghana has chosen the theme “equality for women is programme for all through total inclusion”.
Mrs Prempeh emphasised that “child bearing is a responsibility women undertake on behalf of humanity and every woman deserve to take enough rest to recover and regain her full health and potentials and have more time for the baby”.
She observed that though women constituted 52 percent of national the population, yet decisions affecting them were mostly taken without adequate input from women.
The Member of Parliament stressed that women played critical role as effective peace advocate, managers of the family and intermediaries in conflict resolution.
But Mrs Prempeh regretted that Ghana was making slow progress in recognizing and ensuring the quality and representation of women in decision making.
She noted that in order to bridge the gender equality gab through affirmative action, the issues of quotas and reserved seat for women to contest ought to be addressed and it was important to identify and solve certain problems women faced in all endeavours.
Mrs Prempeh suggested that reserved seat at the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Parliament ought to be created and competed for by only women indicating that the 50 percent of the 30 percent of the government appointees at the MMDAs should also be reserved for women and supported by law.
She appealed to the Ministry of Women and Gender to expedite action on the Affirmative Action Bill
The Right Reverend Dr Festus Yeboah-Asuamah, Anglican Bishop of Sunyani Diocese has advised Christian women to satisfy their husbands sexually to sustain marital happiness and comfort.
He expressed concern that some women had engage themselves with religious activities to the extent that they did not even have time to satisfied their husband sexually.
This habit, the Bishop noted was a contributory factor that had led many men to go into sexual promiscuity tearing homes and families apart.
Rt Rev Dr Asuamah-Yeboah gave the advice when he addressed the first diocesan Mother Union Conference of the Sunyani Anglican Diocese in Sunyani.
Under theme “women you are the pillars of the family and the church”, the conference was attended by members from Nkoranza, Atebubu/Amantin, Kintampo Berekum and Dormaa-Ahenkro.
Rt Rev Dr Asuamah-Yeboah emphasised that Christianity is a way of life and that women who failed to perform their sexual responsibility sinned against God and their husbands.
“This does not mean men should also over-stretch their wives in sex”, he quickly added.
The Anglican Bishop observed that maintaining a peaceful family was the responsibility of both spouse and appealed to women not to shoulder such obligation on husbands only.
Rt Rev Dr Asuamah-Yeboah noted that as poverty was a root cause of family disorderliness women also ought to engage in useful economic activities to support in the financial needs of the family.
Mrs Felicia Yeboah-Asuamah, Diocesan President of the Union emphasised that the proper upbringing and development of children was a shared and collective responsibility.
She said children could grow and become useful adult in society depended on the kind of moral, spiritual and educational training they might go through.
Mrs Yeboah-Asuamah advised women who abuse their husbands in public to refrain from such behaviour but ensure that they exercise self control and be slow in anger.
This she observed would sustain the interest of their husbands to remain in the home and support them in household chores.
The Sunyani Polytechnic Alumni Association has appealed to the government to speed up processes in transforming polytechnics into University education.
It said the idea of the government to repackage and upgrade polytechnics into university was a noble course that would help facilitate the national reconstruction process.
At its maiden get-together dinner in Sunyani, Mr Kwaku Owusu, Chairman of the Alumni and immediate past Vice Rector of the Sunyani Polytechnic said polytechnic education ought to be given real meaning and correspond to the technical needs of the country.
He observed that infrastructure and other teaching materials were readily available at the various polytechnics in the country and the government could rely on such resources or the mean time.
Mr Owusu said quality technical education would not only help Ghana to improve on its infrastructural base but promote rapid economic growth and development as well.
He announced the alumni intended to construct a modern hostel facility and a crèche for the Sunyani Polytechnic and appealed to former unregistered students to register with the alumni and support the institution.
Mr Owusu said a membership of about 200, the alumni stood as an advocacy body that champion the course of the Sunyani Polytechnic.
It tracked, help network and support graduates to acquire gainful employment, he explained and appealed to especially graduates abroad to link up with the association.
The Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) at Fiapre, near Sunyani, at the weekend admitted 366 students to pursue various degree programmes.
Another batch of 774 students, who pursued four-year degree programmes in BSc. Economics and Business Administration, Banking and Finance and Computer Science also graduated.
Other degree programmes they graduated in include BSc. in Public Health, Mathematics with Economics, Mathematics with Finance, Actuarial Science as well as Bachelors of Education and Religious Studies.
At the 18th matriculation ceremony, which coincided with the 10th congregation of the University at Fiapre, Professor James Hawkins Ephraim, Vice Chancellor of the CUCG said 2,681 students had been graduated since academic work begun in 2003.
He said even though infrastructure remained a challenge, the university was working with its partners and all stakeholders to develop the institution.
Prof Ephraim explained that most of the programmes offered at the University were due for re-accreditation, stressing that, steps had already been taken to complete the process.
Contacts have also been made with the University of Ghana to finalise the affiliation process, which was initiated some time back, he added.
Prof Ephraim advised the new students to develop a heart of excellence, respect authority and concentrate on their books.
He warned that the university would not tolerate any form of indiscipline and advised, especially, the female students to dress decently.
The Most Reverend Philip Nammeh, Chairman of the Governing Council of the CUCG, said the Catholic Church had responded to the needs of society and would continue to disseminate knowledge and provide quality education.
The church sees education as a way of bringing up and nurturing the intellectual faculties of students and helping to develop the capacity and acumen for sound judgment and introducing them to the cultural heritage bequeathed to them by former generations, he said.
Most Rev. Nammeh, who is the Metropolitan Arch Bishop of Tamale, said the CUCG was established in 2003 with 50 students but currently has a population of 4,500.
Vision Fund, an affiliate of World Vision Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization has disbursed GHC76, 000 as loan to traders in the Kintampo South District of Brong-Ahafo Region.
Mr Spencer Badu, Chief Executive Officer of the fund who disclosed this to the Media at Jema said the 444 beneficiaries spread in about 54 communities in the district are mainly in commerce.
He explained that the fund had a total portfolio of GHC500 million and among other interventions worked to create access for rural women to financing by helping them to expand their economic activities.
Mr Badu said for the past five years that the fund begun operation in the district, the economic wellbeing of many women had been enhanced, indicating that the fund had finished modalities to give out additional support to large number of women in agriculture.
He said though the recovery rate was very slow, the fund continued to give more loans to women because the wellbeing of children was very paramount to World Vision Ghana.
Mr Badu said when more women are economically empowered; they could ensure the proper upbringing and development of their children.
He advised the beneficiaries to pay back the loans promptly so to pave the way for more women to benefit.
Mr Badu said priority was placed on women farmers, especially those in mushroom and honey production and entreated more women to engage in such economic venture to access the fund regularly.
Mr Jacob Achulo, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare has advocated stiffer punishment on parents who force their teenagers into early marriages.
He said according to statistics, 27 percent of women in the region were forced into marriages before 18 years, a menace widely spread at zongo communities in Sekyere Afram Plains and Ejura Sekyeredumasi districts in the region.
Mr Achulo was speaking at a one-day workshop on reducing child, early and forced marriages in Kumasi, being attended by about 70 Journalists and media practitioners drawn from Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions.
It was Organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in collaboration with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFAID), through the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF).
Mr Achulo noted with regret that the stipulated penalty of GHC500 penalty or one year imprisonment, placed on parents or relatives who forced their teenagers into marriages was not stiffer enough, considering the various physical trauma and emotional effects.
He stated emphatically that some outmoded traditional practices and values practiced in the name of culture, which tend to affect the child both physically and emotionally ought not to be tolerated.
The Regional Director observed that prosecution on culprits of force marriages was sometimes slow and tends to thwart effort in arresting or eradicating the menace and appealed to the police and the judiciary to speed up prosecution.
Mr Akuamoah Boateng, Director of Programmes at the NCCE emphasized that concerted efforts were needed to help control child marriages.
Reverend Father Patrick Osei-Poku, a representative from the Justice and Peace Commission at the Catholic Secretariat, Kumasi Archdiocese, explained that civilization was measured on how society regarded human right and dignity.
He appealed to Ghanaians to respect human right by helping to eradicate violations and all forms of abused meted especially on children.
Rev. Fr Osei-Opoku advised the media to play their watch-dog responsibility with diligent so to help reduce some practices which put the life of children in danger.
Madam Daphne Lariba Nabila, the Executive Director of the Legal Resource Center, (LRC), a human rights organization has emphasized that the 1992 constitution supersedes all customary laws in Ghana.
She however, condemned some traditional practices which put the life of people, especially; children in danger, stressing that perpetrators of such uncivilized and outmoded customary laws breached the constitution.
Highlighting on the Ghanaian legal system at a day’s workshop on reducing child, early and forced marriages in Ghana, in Kumasi, Madam Nabila mentioned Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriages as some customary practices that violated the constitution.
It was organized by the national Commission of Civic Education (NCCE) with funding from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFAID), through the Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF).
Attended by more than 70 Journalists and media practitioners drawn from Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti Regions, the workshop was aimed at sensitizing participants on the gravity of forced/early marriages to enable them advocate greater publicity and public education towards reducing the phenomenon.
Madam Nabila reiterated that the breach of the 1992 constitution was a serious offence and appealed to the media to collaborate effectively in helping to identify areas that forced/early marriages were being practiced.
The Reverend Father Patrick Osei-Poku, a representative from the Justice and Peace Commission at the Catholic Secretariat, Kumasi Archdiocese, noted that many parents were ignorant of child right Acts and conventions.
This, he said was why some parents continued to encourage and force their children onto outdated traditional practices that ruin their future.
Mr Gerald Ankrah, Executive Director of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) noted that many journalist and media practitioners were not conversant with various laws and legislation.
He said the media ought to take the responsibility to get them abreast with existing legislations and educate the general public on those laws.
Mrs Shallot Osei, Chairperson of the NCCE observed that the media was a powerful tool and stressed the importance to strengthen the media to enable it develop interest on issues of forced marriages and other child right abuses.