Education is basis for rapid socio-economic development – DCE

Bongo District Chief Executive [DCE], Mr. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga has underscored education as a fundamental catalyst for the rapid socio-economic development of any nation and that, the Government of Ghana was on track with the implementation of the free Senior High School Programme.

Mr. Ayamga who was speaking at the First Ordinary Meeting of the Third Session of the Bongo District Assembly, added that education was a “key to unlocking the potentials of all aspects of our economic, social and political life”. He however noted that the education sector in the Bongo district wasn’t doing too well at both the Basic Education Certificate Examination [BECE] and WASSCE levels. He therefore appealed to all stakeholders to collaborate effectively with the Ghana Education Service [GES] in order to reverse the trend.

He disclosed that the district presented a total of 2,017 candidates from 55 Junior High schools for the 2018 BECE. The number comprised 891 girls and 1,126 boys.

The DCE also commended the Ministry of Education for starting a programme from the latter part of 2017 through to the early part of this year which allowed for a limited recruitment of qualified young men and women as teachers. He added that having secured financial clearance from the appropriate authorities, the GES allotted some quotas to all districts in the country to recruit. The Bongo District for example, was given allocation for 80 of such recruits to be employed. He however revealed that, he had received complains of a syndicate that was extorting monies from prospective recruits and that he had instructed some security operatives to investigate and bring the culprits to book.

Turning to health, the DCE praised the district health directorate for promptly activating a Public Health Emergency Management Committee that visited and educated students and school authorities throughout the district in the last quarter of 2017 during which time, strange student deaths hit several schools across Ghana.  He also disclosed that statistics at the directorate showed a rise in OPD attendance of 26,258 by the first quarter of 2018 against 20,524 same period in 2017. He attributed the rise to improvement in the issuance of the NHIS cards as well as awareness creation and sensitization programmes by health professionals.

On water and sanitation, Mr. Ayamga said his administration was working hard to increase the district’s water coverage to over 80 percent. He announced that the United Nations Development Fund [UNDP] had funded the construction of 10-number successful boreholes in the communities of Soe-Tamolga, Agomo, Bogrigo Dua and Atampintim among other places. Meanwhile from its Common Fund, the Assembly had also constructed 10 additional boreholes in some underserved communities across the district including Gamburungo, Goo-Atandaa, Vea-Tindongo and Ayelbia just to mention a few.

He also disclosed that, the Ministry of Special Initiatives under Government’s “One Million Dollar Per Constituency” policy, had awarded 6-number Water-Closet toilets projects with mechanised boreholes which were currently under construction in selected communities.

The Bongo District Assembly according to the DCE, approved a revenue target of 232,378.00 Ghana Cedis to be collected from its local revenue sources in 2018 but was only able to rake in 51, 425.15 as at 31st March, 2018. This represented a 22.13 percent of the set target implying that the Assembly had more to do to close in on its set target before the year ends. Some measures to achieve this include enhanced sensitisation campaigns, renovation of the Assembly’s guest house bequeathed to it by World Vision and putting back on the road, a tipper truck in its fleet of vehicles.

Mr. Ayamga also stated that the Nana Addo-led administration had good intentions for the country’s youth and that this was evident in the launch of the Nation Builders Corps [NABCO] on 1st May, 2018. He advised the youth to register with the programme under its varied modules such as Heal Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Civic Ghana and so on, stressing that though some nay-sayers do not speak too well of the program, “it’s proposed monthly pay of 700 Ghana Cedis to the interns, was far better than having nothing at all”.

Meanwhile, records available at the district’s Department of Agriculture indicated that, some beneficiaries of the government’s flagship programme “Planting for Food and Jobs” were not willing to pay up some monies owed the programme. This phenomenon the DCE noted, could negatively affect the district in future allocations. He revealed that of about 2,213 farmers who benefited from the programme in terms of various farm inputs costing about GHc730,839.00, only GHc413,814.00 had been recovered as at 30th Aril 2018.

He urged Assembly Members to prevail on their constituents to endeavor to clear their indebtedness so as to allow for more farmers to benefit from the laudable programme. He also appealed to all opinion leaders and the general public to support enumerators of the Ghana Census of Agriculture so as to allow for the collection of accurate data to enable effective planning and implementation programmes.

Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)

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