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Despising WASSCE achievements for political gain is regrettable – Education Ministry

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The statement stressed that applicants discovered cheating risked serious repercussions, with subject papers or entire tests cancelled depending on the degree of the wrongdoing. Malpractices by invigilators and supervisors were reported to law enforcement authorities and subjected to disciplinary hearings, which frequently resulted in dismissal from the Ghana Education Service. The Ministry defended Ghana's exceptional performance in the WASSCE, highlighting the highest-ever 8 A1s recorded in 2020 and constant progress over the previous six years. They ascribed this achievement to measures such as the Free SHS policy, which provided students with better-prepared instructors, core texts, remedial packages, and more teaching hours.

The Ministry of Education has forcefully refuted former President John Dramani Mahama’s recent charges of improper monitoring and cooperation in the West Africa Senior Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The Ministry of Education, in a statement issued on Friday, described Mahama’s remarks as a “calculated attempt to downplay the great strides made by the Ministry in improving learning outcomes in the country.”

The Ministry emphasised the amazing success in WASSCE scores, stating a significant improvement from 28.7 per cent in Integrated Science in 2015 to an astounding 66.80 per cent attained by 2023 WASSCE candidates under President Nana Akuffo Addo.

“We have made monumental progress, and over the past few years, WAEC has instituted several measures to curb exam malpractices during the BECE and WASSCE test administration,” the Ministry asserted. They emphasized the strict supervision measures implemented by WAEC in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, ensuring the integrity of the examinations.

The statement stressed that applicants discovered cheating risked serious repercussions, with subject papers or entire tests cancelled depending on the degree of the wrongdoing.

Malpractices by invigilators and supervisors were reported to law enforcement authorities and subjected to disciplinary hearings, which frequently resulted in dismissal from the Ghana Education Service.

The Ministry defended Ghana’s exceptional performance in the WASSCE, highlighting the highest-ever 8 A1s recorded in 2020 and constant progress over the previous six years.

They ascribed this achievement to measures such as the Free SHS policy, which provided students with better-prepared instructors, core texts, remedial packages, and more teaching hours.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to assure our students, parents, guardians, and the general public that the quality of education and examinations at all levels, including the WASSCE, was not and will not be compromised,” the statement concluded, urging stakeholders to disregard any information suggesting Ghana’s withdrawal from the WAEC exams for WASSCE.

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Sam George urges on Akufo-Addo to sign the anti-LGBTQI+ bill into law

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He thanked his colleagues, notably Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, a former Majority Leader, for their dedication to passing the measure. "We want to thank Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who played a pivotal role in passing this bill," the member of the parliament said to the media. Mr George also emphasised MPs' unity throughout the process, saying, "The overwhelming majority from both sides of the aisle have endorsed this bill." He assured that members of Parliament will work with the media to promote widespread public education on the law. The Bill's goal is to protect human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values, which prohibit homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) behaviours.

Samuel Nartey George, a key sponsor of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021, has encouraged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sign the Bill after it passed through Parliament on Wednesday, February 28.

“We want the President to walk his talk by appending his signature to the bill to enable it to come into force,” he told reporters.

Addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps following the Bill’s approval, the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram stated that the Bill received widespread support among MPs.

He thanked his colleagues, notably Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, a former Majority Leader, for their dedication to passing the measure.

“We want to thank Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who played a pivotal role in passing this bill,” the member of the parliament said to the media.

Mr George also emphasised MPs’ unity throughout the process, saying, “The overwhelming majority from both sides of the aisle have endorsed this bill.”

He assured that members of Parliament will work with the media to promote widespread public education on the law.

The Bill’s goal is to protect human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values, which prohibit homosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) behaviours.

The Bill now prohibits lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activities and criminalises their promotion, advocacy, and financing.

Persons caught in these actions would face a six-month to three-year prison sentence, with promoters and sponsors facing three to five years in prison.

The Bill would now require presidential approval to go into effect.

Uganda passed one of the world’s most stringent anti-LGBT laws in May 2023, including the death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.”
Activists said it triggered a wave of abuse, and the World Bank froze fresh support for the government.

In 2021, the United Nations stated that the planned law would establish “a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence” against sexual minorities.

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Ghana Water to shut down Barekese and Achiase stations

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It will take place on three Thursdays: February 29, March 7, and March 14. According to a statement from the water supplier, the exercise would have an impact on manufacturing hubs. As a result, the majority of homes in the Greater Kumasi Metropolis should expect intermittent water delivery. "Management regrets the inconvenience the challenge may cause and advises customers to store and judiciously use water to avert any severe impact during the shutdown dates," the company said in a statement.

The Ghana Water Limited has announced the closure of the Barekese and Achiase water stations in the Ashanti region.

The change is due to planned maintenance by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) at the supply stations.

The maintenance work is planned to last for approximately 12 hours.

It will take place on three Thursdays: February 29, March 7, and March 14.

According to a statement from the water supplier, the exercise would have an impact on manufacturing hubs.

As a result, the majority of homes in the Greater Kumasi Metropolis should expect intermittent water delivery.

“Management regrets the inconvenience the challenge may cause and advises customers to store and judiciously use water to avert any severe impact during the shutdown dates,” the company said in a statement.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GmSz3JORNF6l-GzqADB5TDAfdhV2b6ra/view

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CSO coalition threatens Supreme Court action over anti-LGBTQ+ legislation

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Anyone found guilty of identifying as LGBTQ+ faces up to three years in jail. It also mandates a possible five-year prison sentence for founding or financing LGBTQ+ organisations. MPs opposed efforts to replace jail terms with community service and therapy. Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development CDD-Ghana, told JoyNews that the groups will make presentations to President Akufo-Addo, urging him not to sign the anti-LGBTQ+ law. She expressed regret that, despite all of Ghana's prospects when the measure was offered, Parliament saw no compelling reason to rule that such a statute did not fit within the country's democratic system.

A coalition of 18 civil society organisations has vowed to file a Supreme Court petition if President Nana Akufo-Addo signs the Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021.

The organisation has lobbied against the anti-LGBTI+ law, claiming that it violates Ghana’s unique cultural and religious environment.

Parliament overwhelmingly enacted the anti-LGBTQ+ measure on February 28, following nearly three years of discussion. The measure intends to criminalise the LGBTQ+ community’s activities.

Anyone found guilty of identifying as LGBTQ+ faces up to three years in jail. It also mandates a possible five-year prison sentence for founding or financing LGBTQ+ organisations.

MPs opposed efforts to replace jail terms with community service and therapy.

Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development CDD-Ghana, told JoyNews that the groups will make presentations to President Akufo-Addo, urging him not to sign the anti-LGBTQ+ law.

She expressed regret that, despite all of Ghana’s prospects when the measure was offered, Parliament saw no compelling reason to rule that such a statute did not fit within the country’s democratic system.

“This bill is awful. It’s similar to criminal libel, which the colonists instituted and we kept. And it was used inappropriately against people, including journalists. “We’ll discover that this is similar,” she remarked.
Prof. Gadzekpo believed that an administration with great judgment would take power and repeal the measure.

Commenting on the coalition’s future steps now that Parliament has passed the bill, Prof Gadzekpo stated that the organisation would continue to advocate and explain why the anti-LGBTQ+ bill is destructive to the country’s democracy and prosperity.

She was hopeful that President Akufo-Addo would hear their cause.

“So we will make representation to the president, not to assent to the bill. I personally believe that this bill’s proposal through enactment – even the argumentation has very little to do with wanting to safeguard Ghanaian family values because the present danger that endangers our family values were never addressed in this bill.

“This bill was just narrowly targeted at minorities because they know that a majority of people don’t agree with a sexuality that is not binary.

“But the fact that a majority of people don’t agree with a minority position doesn’t make the majority right. It’s such a fundamental principle of democracy. That is why there are so many provisions in democratic constitutions that protect minorities and minority views and rights, but unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears,” she stressed.

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