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12 Teachers arrested over BECE malpractice

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Security persons of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), in collaboration with the National Security, have arrested 11 teachers and a head teacher over alleged malpractice in the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) which took off throughout the country yesterday.

The 12 were picked up at two examination centres in the Offinso municipality in the Ashanti Region and the Senase R/C Basic School in Berekum in the Bono Region.

Offences
A source at WAEC told the Daily Graphic in an interview that at the Offinso Methodist JHS examination centre, a teacher of the Offinso State ‘A’ Junior High School (JHS) was allegedly caught collecting money from the candidates while distributing the Social Studies answer booklets.

According to the source, when the teacher was questioned, she admitted collecting the money, but explained that the candidates decided to contribute the money to her for free.

However, WAEC officials believed that the money was meant to influence the invigilator to enable the candidates to indulge in examination malpractice.

In the second case, also in the Offinso municipality, nine teachers and a head teacher were arrested at the Dwamena Akenten M/A JHS examination centre after they were spotted desperately solving the objective part of the Social Studies paper in the morning.

The source further said at the Senase R/C Basic School centre, Ransford Osei, an invigilator, was apprehended for allegedly taking shots of the Social Studies paper, which was being written in the morning, and sending the snapshots to a friend to solve for him.

However, while Osei was being escorted by the police, he absconded.

Advice
Commenting on the development, the Head of the National Office of WAEC, Mrs Wendy Addy-Lamptey, assured the candidates that they could do well without resorting to malpractice, including cheating.

She advised the candidates to manage their time well to be able to answer all the questions, adding that they should also read the questions thoroughly before starting to answer.

While wishing the candidates the best of luck, Mrs Addy-Lamptey advised them to take enough rest “and not be anxious but focused and write what you know”.

She expressed concern over the fact that teachers engaged to invigilate or supervise the examination were rather engaged in malpractice and asked the candidates to reject offers from such invigilators because they could equally be wrong.

Smooth take-off
Meanwhile, the examination commenced smoothly at all centres across the country

In Accra, Joshua Bediako Koomson and Faith Ayorkor Mensah report that COVID-19 protocols were strictly observed at the various centres.
The Ayawaso West Municipal Director of Education, Madam Adisa Tassa, who toured some of the centres, presented 1,107 mathematical sets and 1,108 pens for onward distribution to the candidates.

The centres in the municipality are the Nima Cluster of Schools, the St Paul’s Lutheran School and the Flag Staff Basic School.

Madam Tassa said she was impressed by the conduct of the candidates.

Western Region
From the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu and Augustina Dzodzegbe report that 40,464 candidates from 1,195 schools in the Western Region are taking part in the examination.
When the Daily Graphic visited some of the centres, it saw that the candidates were in high spirits.

Officials of the Western Regional Education Directorate went round the centres to assess the situation and indicated that all was well.

The Regional Director of Education, Mrs Felicia Agyeibea Okai, wished the candidates well and urged them not to engage in examination malpractice.

The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, in his message to the resource and Ghana has no shortage of smart and talented people,” he said.

Context
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has been championing a digitalised economy since 2017.

The National Identification Authority (NIA), which is in charge of issuing the Ghana Card, is now moving to another stage where it is integrating the information with other systems.

Databases that have linked up with the NIA system include those of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Registrar-General’s Department, the Electoral Commission and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

The Controller and Accountant-General’s Department has asked workers paid from the Consolidated Fund to register for the Ghana Card.

Aside from the Ghana Card, the acquisition of passports and drivers licences has been semi-automated and there is a re-registration of SIM cards with the use of the Ghana Card.

The banking sector has experienced one of the most consummate forms of digitalisation, with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPPS) being the intermediary and facilitator for enabling interoperability among banking systems.

At a lecture on Digitalisation at the Ashesi University a couple of weeks ago, Vice-President Bawumia said the strategy had, since 2017, been not just to repair the “system” but build a new “system” through digital transformation.

“A system with unique identification numbers for the population, a system with addresses for all properties and locations, a system that is transparent and promotes accountability, discipline and trustworthiness and a system that is inclusive and not based on who you know,” Dr Bawumia had said.

He said the envisioned dream was also to create a system that provided efficient public service delivery and tackled corruption, a system that improved efficiency in the health sector and a system that provided financial inclusion and a cash-lite economy.

Foundational
Mr Binitie told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the next challenge was growing beyond the shores of the country.

He said he wanted Ghana to cash in on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which he said presented new opportunities for trade across the region.

“It is the time to grow beyond our walls if we want to be the power house of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Our perspective must be beyond Ghana, so every policy on innovation needs to also look at trade, so that what is created could be marketed beyond Ghana, and that must be policy driven,” he explained.

He noted that the richest countries in the world were not rich because they had natural resources but because they produced advanced technology that could easily be exported for significant monetary returns.

Decentralise digitalisation
For his part, Mr Kanduri said in countries where digitalisation had gained ground, it was not the government leading the drive, but that it rather provided the enabling environment and the policy framework that favoured young private individuals to lead the drive.

“If we don’t redirect the focus of the digitalisation drive and encourage young innovators to lead the drive, we will miss the real innovations that could bring about economic growth,” he said.

He called on the government to factor into its digitalisation drive a sense of decentralisation, so that the building of the digital infrastructure would be segmented into regions or districts, according to their pressing needs.

He said the adaptability of the interoperability infrastructure, for instance, was not the same across the country, as the need for it might be concentrated in more commercially viable areas than a rural farming community.

“The adaptability of the digital drive will not be the same across the country. Every district or region has its own demands and what digital solutions it requires and will have value for, so we have to look at this development from a decentralised point of view,” Mr Kanduri said.

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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