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Ghana scored the highest marks in the ability of its school pupils to read in both the Ghanaian Language and English Language assessments.

According to the Early Grade Reading and Math (EGRM) project implemented over a year ago in 13 countries across Africa and East Europe, Ghana topped countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan and Tonga, which tested the ability of pupils in Class One and Two to read from an average of a word per minute to seven words per minute.

Early reading

The Early Grade Reading (EGR) report stated that the letter-sound identification of the pupils in Primary One rose from 6.24 letter sounds per minute to 25.54 letter sounds per minute, making Ghana’s EGR programme one of the “largest effect sizes of any early grade reading programme worldwide.”

The results of the study implemented by the USAID Partnership for Education in collaboration with the Evaluating Systems were presented at a dissemination seminar in Accra on Tuesday, June 11.

In Ghana, the study was conducted in 100 districts across the country.

The report noted that the programme component that drove impact the most was the adherence to the prescribed lesson plans.

It further explained that schools where teachers followed the prescribed lesson plans most closely, with the most pupils engaged, had the highest-performing pupils.

Maths pilot

After one year of the implementation of the Early Grade Maths Pilot (EGMP) programme, the report indicated that there were significant gains in Mathematics performance, particularly in the areas the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) targeted for improvement.

The report identified the area as the conceptual understanding of Mathematics, adding that improvements in teacher behaviour and practice drove those improvements to learning outcomes.

The report said after one year of implementation of the EGMP, it was clear that the intervention had the potential to improve assessment scores in early grade Maths nation-wide and beyond.

The USAID/Ghana’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr Steven E. Hendrix, in a statement said results from the EGRM impact evaluation demonstrated a significant and positive improvement in primary pupils’ learning outcomes.

Systems created

For his part, the Deputy Minister in charge of General Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, commended USAID for the research work done so far, adding that what was more important was not the quantum of work done, but the system that had been created.

He said there was the need for Ghana to leapfrog to be able to catch up with development, recalling the comprehensive educational reforms to completely overhaul the educational sector.

Impact

Explaining to the Daily Graphic on the data and its impact, the Chief of Party Evaluating Systems, Madam Monica Gadkari, said it was obvious that the programme had a positive bearing on the learning outcomes of the pupils.

She said the findings showed a statistically significant impact in Ghanaian Language of instruction and on pre-reading skills in English.

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: GRAPHICONLINE

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Canadian Women Kidnappers: Only 4 Suspects Were Actively Involved

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DGN Online has gathered from security sources that out of the eight persons arrested in connection with the kidnapping of the two Canadian women, only four are the ‘real’ culprits.

Sources say the four are Seidu Mba, a Ghanaian, and the three Nigerians.

One of the Nigerians has been identified as Sampson Aghaor while the identities of the other two are yet to be known.

According to DGN Online‘s sources, police were still working to establish the “involvement” of the three other suspects that have been arrested as well.

It has been gathered that one person among the three is a driver, another one a mechanic and the third person a ‘worker’ of a car rental company.

DGN Online is equally informed that as at yesterday, June 13, 2019, the police had taken statements of each of the eight suspects.

The suspects are likely to appear before court today, June 14, in line with constitutional provision that a suspect should not be kept in police custody for more than 48-hours after his or her arrest without a bail or sent to court for trial.

It would be recalled that five Ghanaians and three Nigerians were placed in police custody after their arrests in Kumasi on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in connection with the kidnappings of the two Canadian women.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, briefed the media on Wednesday in Accra, as he gave updates on the rescue mission of the two ladies.

The Minister did not give further details on the identities of the eight suspects but assured that legal processes would be followed in ensuring justice is served.

Duration For Rescue Mission

The Minister had told the media that it a took a National Security team 25 minutes to rescue the women from a house at Kanyasi, a suburb of Kumasi.

Team Members

The Security team comprised Bureau of National Investigation, Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, the Special Weapons And Tactics Unit, Defense Intelligence.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said there was no support from security experts from Canada as earlier reported.

He said Canadians were brought into the country to explore ways in which they could help the Ghanaian security operatives to rescue the ladies but it turned out National Security could handle the operation.

He also denied that the Canadians provided satellite data to aid the rescue of the women.

The Minister confirmed DGN Online‘s earlier report that there were gunshots from the compound the suspects were being accommodated.

He further confirmed DGN Online‘s report that another Nigerian suspected to be the ringleader in the kidnapping of the three Takoradi girls, John Orji has been arrested in Togo.

He said a Ghanaian was providing them accommodation for the kidnappers.

According to him, at the end of the operation, the two Nigerians who were holding the Canadians were subdued and the third Nigerian was arrested later.

Victims

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah had indicated that the two Canadian women were brought to Accra and going through due medical checks at a health facility.

Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, 19, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, 20, both students working as volunteers in Ghana for an international development organisation, Youth Challenge International, were allegedly abducted recently and taken to unknown destination by some gun-wielding men.

The captors had ambushed the young women on a driveway at Ahodwo-Nhyiaeso near the Royal Gulf Club in Kumasi, whilst returning from a food joint in an Uber car.

They were bundled into a Toyota Camry saloon car and whisked away after stepping out of the car to go to their hostel at the Silver Spring avenue.

That prompted the Canadian Government to swiftly issue a travel advice for its citizens traveling to Ghana, warning of “violent crimes” in the West African nation

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Ghana Health Service issues cholera alert

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The Directorate said with the onset of the rains coupled with poor sanitary conditions and other prevailing circumstances, it was likely to experience these occurrences.

It has therefore advised the public to adopt certain preventive measures and precautions to reduce the menace and protect themselves against the disease.

A statement signed by the Greater Accra Regional Director of Health Service, Dr (Mrs) Charity Sarpong, said in order to prevent these diseases the public should adhere to maintaining food and water safety by drinking safe water, washing fruits and vegetables well before eating.

They should also cover food always, eating food that was served hot and free from dust, flies and dirt.

She said piped water sources and sachet may not be safe for drinking and should be boiled.

According to the statement the public should always wash hands with soap under safe running water after using the toilet, before eating or preparing food, before feeding a baby, before serving meals and after taking care of sick persons.

The statement said cholera could be prevented by keeping the environment clean by not defecating in the open rather use toilet facility, clean toilet and surfaces contaminated with faeces with disinfectant and keep uncollected rubbish covered.

The statement said persons who showed symptoms of diarrhea should start taking Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) immediately or report immediately to a nearby facility for treatment.

SOURCE: GRAPHICONLINE

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Include Blood Processing Fee on NHIS

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A clarion call has been made for the fee charged for processing blood to be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Stakeholders in the blood service believe the fee – about GH¢120 – if covered by the NHIS would remove the financial barrier to blood accessibility and encourage voluntary blood donation.

They made the observation during the discussion session of a public lecture organized by the National Blood Service as part of activities to commemorate this year’s World Blood Donor Day themed: “Blood Donation and Universal Access to Safe Blood Transfusion, as a Component of achieving Universal Health Coverage.”

Ken Ashigbey, Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications who is passionate about voluntary blood donation, said it was an indictment on the country for people to be dying because of the unavailability of blood products.

He said the country would be able to meet its blood needs if as low as one percent of the population decided to voluntarily donate blood.

Voluntary blood donation in Ghana currently stands at 37 per cent as against the projected figure of 50 per cent by the National Blood Service.

Mr. Ashigbey called on civil society to take action and champion the passage of the Blood Service Bill which is currently with the Ministry of Health.

“We don’t want to wait like we did for the Right to Information Bill (RTI) so Mr. President please make sure this bill is passed, if not we will make it a campaign topic,” he said.

Dr. Justina K. Ansah, CEO of National Blood Service, touching on the Blood Service Bill added that the law would give legal backing to help nail practitioners who breach the rules of engagement with regard to how they handle blood.

She said “when there is a policy and it’s not backed by law, it is like having the document there but it’s the law that gives it hands and feet. It gives it teeth to be able to bite.”

“So, we need the law to also help us when people have done things that they need to be reprimanded for and all that,” she added.

She noted that “a lot of the guidelines are documented, but if you have a law backing you, then if somebody is not going according to the standards, the person can be held for not conforming to the standards.”

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: DAILYGUIDEAFRICA

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