Tomorrow will see one of the regular Big Events of Parliament enacted on the floor of the House. The Minister of Finance, Mr Kenneth Ofori-Atta will come to the House and present the 2019 Budget on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mortuary attendants in our various hospitals have threatened to go on strike if their poor conditions of service are not enhanced to enable them to offer their best. According to them, their meagre salary, as well as allowances, have left them perpetually assigned to hardship.
Global events unfolding in contemporary era within the aviation transport industry indicates a very repugnant picture, which if global leaders fail to confront such menace head-on, is likely to spell doom to the entire human race; where its emanating catastrophic consequences would be extremely difficult to obliterate from deep memory of homo sapiens on the universe.
In the aftermath of the two spontaneous protests and the blocking of the Adentan stretch of the N4 Highway on Friday, October 31 and Thursday, November 8, 2018 after the beautician, Ataa Black Beauty, and the student, Mariam Kassim, were knocked down by vehicles and killed, the character and intentions of the political elite have been brought into question .
Do they really think about the people? Do they consider us at all? Do they work in our best interests at all? What does the political elite respond to? The demands of their stature as politicians or the demands and interests of their constituents, who put them in office?
Monitoring call-ins of various morning shows and WhatsApp platforms from Friday October 31 to date, some feedback from the public about the insensitivity of politicians resonated in all the expressions of frustration.
One caller on Joy FM said politicians in the country had lost their humanity.
All others, who shared their views were disturbed by the fact that another death on the highway had elicited impatience on the part of the road minister, who did not want to be pressured into responding to the question: When will the footbridges be completed?
Things got to a head, when a student of WASS, in one WhatsApp message, was seen describing how Mariam Kassim had come to the school and had stopped to watch their football game.
She had said goodbye to them to go home, only for her life to be snuffed out, minutes later.
At a point in time, the student pleads for the government to fix the footbridges to end the wanton deaths, going on his knees; he is joined by onlookers, all getting on their knees on the pavement by the side of the highway and pleading for their taxes to be put to work for them!
Really? Has it got to this now? For some Ghanaians to feel such helplessness that they believe begging will be what, peradventure, might get the desired response from their leaders?
Did it have to get to this point? Should it take the death of two young ladies (and more), with spontaneous riots, for our own government, voted into office when we stood patiently in line to cast our ballot, to act responsibly to safeguard the lives of Ghanaians?
I have an uncanny feeling of living in a country where life is not important.
Or else, how would the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), with all those technocrats and “big” educated shots, have constructed a highway and left out crossings for pedestrians?
How can a highway be constructed and for several years lack the basic fixtures, such as lights and markings to help with its use?
Politicians, who of all people should have protected the rights of the vulnerable, sat incapacitated as vehicle upon vehicle sped along the N4, knocking down people, injuring some and killing others.
In fact, it is really, really distasteful for some of them to now come out with condolences to bereaved families and friends of the deceased.
What good would that be? Would it bring loved ones back to life?
We would wish our politicians to be considerate. We would wish they had our welfare at heart.
We would wish that their focus and attention was on the welfare of the people and not on their own highfalutin issues of governance; after all, for the people, it boils down to their welfare.
Once again the happenings on the Adentan stretch of the N4 has shown that our governments understand just one language: protests! They act when we protest.
The campaign pledges of: we will do this, we will do that, have all turned to, “action only, when you demonstrate your anger at being neglected and being treated inconsequentially!
May the dark clouds that billowed in the skyline of Adentan last Thursday not be the ominous sign of dark days ahead.
May, the ghosts of those who have died on the highway to date, if there are really ghosts in this world, protest and haunt all those who neglected their responsibility and duty!
Though Ghana has enormous natural resource potential, the irony is that the country has not been able to sustainably develop because of the weak capacity of her human resource.
The only way to reverse the trend was for the country to invest in the human resource with commitment, the right education through innovation and technology to make the best use of the nation’s natural resources.
World Bank Report
The World Bank official for Ghana, Dr Antonio Guiffrida, making his presentation on “Poor education to affect Ghana’s human capital” (Ghana Web, Nov. 6, 2018), noted that about 56 per cent of Ghana’s human capital would go waste in the next 18 years because of the poor quality of the country’s education system.
The latest Human Capital Index (HCI) report by the World Bank showed that the poor quality of education would translate into lack of capacity to support sustainable national development.
He said, “The reality is that the education in Ghana is not of good quality, some children do not go to school at all, others go to school but do not complete, while others are malnourished and cannot fully attain their potential.”
The HCI showed that 19 out of 100 children were stunted and so were at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that could last a lifetime.
About half of the children who are in school today are not being taught properly because of teacher absenteeism and idleness on the part of teachers during productive hours.
He stressed that the way forward to improving education and the country’s HCI ranking was to invest in quality education.
And to think talents and possibilities abound in the country!
Accra College of Medicine
The first matriculation ceremony of the Accra College of Medicine (ACM) was in April 2016, at the premises at Adjirigarno, Accra.
The college’s mission was defined by Dr (Mrs) Afua Hesse as follows: “Our passion is to produce medical doctors who will see themselves as taking part in a crusade: the crusade against disease, poverty, ignorance, underdevelopment and mediocrity, making full use of innovative science and technology.”
The fourth matriculation on November 3, 2018 saw the induction of the fourth batch of freshers at different levels, the largest intake to date.
In her remarks, Dr Hesse said, “Excellence is an attitude you have to acquire and cultivate. It means you need to be working constantly from the first day.
The Bible aptly compares industry to the work of the ant. Much despised and seen as a nuisance, the ant is a strong insect, able to carry around more than eight times its weight.
It works as long as it is able to with dedication and commitment. That small insect is capable of great architectural feats. Have you seen an anthill? Think about it.
The ant “works and labours for the common good to ensure the continuation of its species. It does not stop, neither is it deterred by changes in weather or food availability.
“It just perseveres and goes further afield for the best for its race.”
She advised the medical students to know the course portfolios well enough, to make time to read each course objective and the specific lecture topics before the lecture, and to read the lecture notes.
She advised the medical students to remember that “the lecturer has just enough time to give about 50 per cent of what you need to know about each topic, so make the time to read around the topic to discover the other half”.
Doctors with heart power
Dr Hesse noted that: “Excellence means making use of all the hours God has given us in a day, not procrastinating, as you cannot do last minute cramming in medicine as you could perhaps do in an Arts course, as there is so much material to imbibe and assimilate so you can apply them.”
In knowing that someone’s life will be in your hands, she said, “You owe them an absolute duty of care and can mean life or death to them, should you not then be giving your best at all times? Study groups are crucial for all of you.
“I will keep repeating it all the time. You will be amazed at how much you will benefit no matter if you started off stronger or weaker.”
Dr Hesse noted that at ACM, “we are developing the whole you, not just pumping you full of medical terms and knowledge.
“We are training you to develop as entrepreneurs so you will definitely not join the Association of Unemployed Graduates but will look to set yourselves up in successful group practice.
You will become great communicators with your patients in virtually any Ghanaian language and French seeing as we are surrounded by French-speaking countries of Togo to the East, Burkina Faso to the North and Cote d’Ivoire to the West.”
In speaking to those who had started the clinical years, she said, “Remember your learning is your responsibility and no one else’s. Faculty is there to guide you.
“Remember medicine is about compassion, empathy, listening, communicating, leadership skills; in short “Heart power”. Stay humble.
There is no room for airs.
Your patients can teach you so much! Remember everyone ends up four feet or six feet under, but ensure that you are not the reason why someone’s life ends before their time.
You are called to give life and hope so remember your maker at all times.
Young fishermen sat at the Elmina beach with confusion written on their faces, their jaws resting in their palms. The quiet atmosphere on the once busy shore at this time of the year, their bumper season; echoes the gloomy story of the fishermen and their communities.
The Northern Regional Centre for National Culture (CNC), in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), has launched a drama project to stop child abuse in the region.
The project is aimed at educating residents in the region on the effects of child abuse and also to create awareness and encourage the public to treat children well and to desist from all forms of child abuse.
The project, titled "Ghanaians Against Child Abuse (GACA)," is being implemented in the Tolon and the Kpandai districts and West Mamprusi municipality where local drama groups were given training to carry out the project.
As part of the project, live drama performances were undertaken at Dimabi, Sabiegu and Kpalsogu in the Tolon District, Nayoko and Wungu in the West Mamprusi municipality and Oyumbo and Japido in the Kpandai District.
The Northern Regional Director of the CNC, Madam Gladys N. Tang, said the project, through live dramas, was aimed at stopping child abuse in various forms in the Northern Region.
In all the eight communities where the live dramas were performed, some parents, children and some members of the public interviewed said they had been enlightened on the dangers of child abuse and pledged to amend their ways and go by what they had learnt.
Before the dramas were staged in the eight communities, some parents were engaged in negative practices such as insulting children and placing curses on them, child neglect, leaving adopted children and house helps uneducated, caning children and not providing them with their needs.
"Children are useful to the family and the community and we now know that all children are the same and they should be treated equally, whether they are your biological children or not. We have to train and care for them properly instead of leaving them to take their own paths", Abdul Rahman Habib, Diema-Naa of Dimabi community, stated.
UNICEF as sponsors
Through the dramas being sponsored by UNICEF and implemented by the Northern Regional CNC, three foster children who were being used as house helps and were not in school have been sent to school.
Some of the communities where the dramas were staged acknowledged that live drama was preferred because radio drama could not be assessed when there was no electricity or no money to buy batteries or credit to use the phone to listen to the radio.
The GACA drama was also performed during the Regional Festival of Arts and Culture (REGIFEST) 2018 held at the Jubilee Park in Tamale on November 1, 2018 to encourage parents to adopt better ways to treat children with love, care and patience.
Ghana is touted as a model of democracy in our part of the world. Since the inception of the Fourth Republic on January 7, 1993, we have remained the envy of many on our continent, an oasis of peace and stability in a very troubled region.
The former United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, on 7th November 2018 announced his resignation as US Attorney General and made it clear it was at the request of the President –“at your request”.
Travel by train has always fascinated me. But, I hasten to add, I’m talking about surface trains, not the underground train popularly known as the Tube in London. So I’m one of the people keenly looking forward to the revival of the long-dead railway sector in Ghana.
After decades of stop-start journeys to nuclear, Egypt last month announced that it had sealed a $700 million deal with USA-based General Electric (GE) to supply turbine and generator units for the country’s maiden Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).