Saturday, February 7, 2009

Five ministerial nominees appear before Appointment Committee

Mr. Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education-designate, on Friday told Parliament's Appointments Committee that more resources must be channelled into basic education to strengthen the Junior
High Schools (JHS) and improve upon the performance of the students.
    He said the idea that, by extending the duration of the Senior High Schools to four years to bring up the performance of JHS students who enrol in second cycle schools was not the answer to correcting the low academic performance of JHS students.
     The nominee was responding to questions from the committee on some reports that the NDC government would want to change the four-year period of the SHS to three years.
     He said it was better to strengthen performance, through the provision of infrastructure, teachers and learning materials at the basic level rather then prolonging the stay of students in the SHS.
     The nominee said his priority, when given the nod by Parliament would be to improve upon teacher education and upgrade the teacher training institutions.
     When Mr Cletus Avoka, Interior Minister-designate took his turn before the committee, he said he disagreed with some petitioners from the Upper East Region who are calling for the withdrawal of his ministerial appointment because he, as a Kusasi, was an interested party to the Bawku conflict involving the Kusasis and Mamprusis.
     He said, although he had offered legal services to the Kusasis and was an opinion leader for his side, he had helped to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
     Mr Avoka said his track record when he once served as a Minister was impeccable and therefore it was wrong for any one to petition against his nomination based of fears that, he may compromise his position by taking sides against the Mamprusis.
     In response to questions on what to do to stem the illicit drug trade,
he said the Narcotics Control Board should be changed into a commission and security should be stepped up at the ports and harbours.
     On measures to help empower the Police Service to make it more effective
in dealing with armed robbery and other crimes, he said the district assemblies should be encouraged to put up facilities to accommodate police officers.
     Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Women and Children-designate, when she took her turn, told the committee that it would be wrong for any person to think that the 31st December Women's Movement would take over the running of the Ministry under the NDC.
     She said the Ministry was a national women's machinery and was going to work with all non-governmental organisations and all stakeholders.
      In response to another question, she said laws on children should be enforced to improve upon child care and welfare.
     When she took her turn, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Tourism-designate, told the committee, that local tourism should be encouraged to generate more funds from the sector.
     She said a clean environment was critical to promoting tourism to the outside world but efforts should also be directed at discouraging sex tourism which served as an avenue to lure innocent Ghanaian children into illicit sex with its attendant health implications.     
     Mr Joseph Yieleh-Chireh, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development-designate, the last to appear before the committee, said accountability and the transparency of the district assemblies was critical
to making the assemblies responsible to the people in the community.

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