It is exciting that more and more Ghanaians have become interested in engaging in discussions geared towards the development and transformation of our country. The current discussion about Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a clear indication of how Citizens have taken ownership of their country and are shaping Government policy to help make our country a better place. It is a fact that we need a national consensus and support on every policy to have successful implementation. However, what worries me is that too many people, including highly respected personalities and intellectuals, are too quick to pass judgement and express preconceived opinion without sufficient information and misinformation.
In fact, according to Ghana AIDs Commission, whilst the rate of New Infections of HIV among Ghanaians has stabilized, Ghana has recorded an increase in infections among young people nationwide. There is currently an alarming increase in teenage pregnancy across the country, incidence of defilement, incest, force marriage, rape and other Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) are a daily occurrence. Girls are absenting themselves from school during menstruation due to lack of information and unavailable and inappropriate sanitary facilities. All these and many other issues render the investment we are making on our youth unfruitful. These problems have gone beyond prayers, religion, culture and politics. There is a need to have a coordinated nationwide strategy to respond and solve our problems as a country. As a Peer Educator, I have encountered several pregnant adolescents who had sex just because they were told it will enlarge their buttocks. Young girls are being raped and the perpetuators are not reported or dealt with because they are either too powerful or the victims do not know that rape is a crime. We are losing several young girls through unsafe abortions.
If these problems are not foreign, why do we think a well thought strategy to solve them is a foreign agenda. I have seen the realities of our country and I agree with the general consensus that we must protect the future of our country by arming our youth with the right information to survive in these turbulent times.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a curriculum-based method of providing age appropriate, scientifically accurate and culturally sensitive information to enable young people, in-and-out of school the knowledge, attitude, skills and values to make appropriate and healthy choices. This implies that just as a class one student is not taught detailed chemistry, a 6year old child cannot be taught to wear a condom, in fact there is no condom size for them. There is accurate and appropriate information for different age groups. The curriculum being Culturally sensitive also means that CSE in the UK or USA is different from our CSE in Ghana; we must stop drawing too much inference from the situation in other countries. Though CSE is an international term, the national guidelines is a well taught local solution to our local problems. Let’s look beyond the symbols and the preconceptions to discussions on the existing document.
As stakeholders, we must seek the right information about the guidelines. We have to engage in a patriotic discussion devoid of political lenses and accepting the existence of our problems. Only then can we reach a consensus on how to combat the challenges we face.
By; Caesar Kaba Kogoziga(0545510713)
A CSE Facilitator
SONA2020: Teachers to be granted professional allowance – Prez. Akuffo Addo
In the educational aspect of President Akuffo Addo’s State Of the Nation’s Address (SONA), he addressed that, “all plans, all hopes, all expectations for a brighter tomorrow will only come to fruition if they can guarantee an educated and skilled workforce”. He also expressed on how education has been their priority pinpointing to the national budget as a reference to his speculation.
“Mr. Speaker, A look at the national budget gives a clear indication of where our priority lies and it is with education”.
In respect to the chalk and board fraternity, thus the teaching fraternity, the address highlighted on the restoration of teacher trainee allowances. It again highlighted some achievements chalked in the teaching fraternity which are; employment of sixty-seven thousand (67,000) teachers, tier-2 pension funds of teachers have been paid, the three-year backlog of non-promotion of teachers have been cleared. “We have abandoned the three-month pay policy inherited for newly-recruited teachers and cleared 92% of the legacy arrears”. His address stated.
The address again went on to say that the research and book allowances that were cancelled have been restored and his government have agreed to grant teachers a professional allowance.
“We want the teachers to accept that they hold our destinies in their hands”.
UDS NAVRONGO CAMPUS PUTTING ON A NEW FACE- INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS MANIFESTING
On Tuesday 14th of January, 2020, the SRC president took upon his WhatsApp status expressing his joy on the ongoing renovation and the “massive infrastructure development”.
His excellency the SRC president Raymond Oviti is nationwide known for his fight for the school fees reduction. This was mainly because, the intended purpose of some slashes in the school fees were not realized.
Through series of dialogue and displeasure of students through demonstration, the administration came into terms with the leadership of the SRC.
The SRC Public relations officer, Mr Ishmael told the student populace through a circular stating that, the administration asked for a little time to improve upon the infrastructures and other pressing issues of concern.
KING WORDI BUSINESS CENTRE has opened a new shop just beside kokotu. They have in stock various soft drinks and bottled water.
True to their words, the administration has started with and ongoing developments as they have promised. Among the ongoing renovation include the NH1 lecture halls and completion of the school library.
The SRC president is hopeful that, the developments as they have promised, will be completed before the end of the second trimester as the auditorium, FAS block and others are in line.
Private Varsities Want Autonomy
The Private Universities Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG) has called on government to make private universities autonomous.
At the handover ceremony of the newly elected executives of PUSAG, which was under the theme: “Academic Freedom: Ensuring the Autonomous and Effective Running of Private Universities,” the Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, gave an assurance that the autonomy issue was being looked at by Parliament.
He said government was determined to take measures to rule out the outmoded affiliation system.
He indicated that government was making plans to remove all barriers that limit the ability of private tertiary institutions to become more effective and also put the private institutions on the same status as the public universities. “The new policy introduces measures that seek to make the private universities autonomous,” he affirmed.
Later in an interview, Prof. Yankson added that the new policy would award licence to private universities after three years of operation, depending on the number of years the university has been in existence and the facilities they have to operate with if they become autonomous.
“Licence will be awarded to private universities that can operate on their own in terms of facilities and professionalism of lecturers,” he said. The Chief Executive Officer of Joy for Fame, John Obiri Yeboah, who was a guest speaker, said the existence of private tertiary institution had helped in the development of the country and promised to support PUSAG to become effective.
The past National President of PUSAG, Charles Opoku, mentioned that private universities cannot continue to have their ‘competitors’ as their ‘masters’ and called on government to provide a five-year road map to give autonomy to private universities. He used the opportunity to outline some of the successes of his administration.
The newly elected President of PUSAG, Alswel Annan, called on management of private universities to admit more students.
Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, who chaired the function, advised the newly elected executives to stay focused and not dabble in unnecessary partisan politics.
“Don’t let any politician to use you; never be moved by what you see and hear but by the spirit,” he advised.