Sunday, February 10, 2008


NEXT year, marks 20 years of decentralisation in the country and 60 years of the consistent organisation of the New Year Schools by the Institute of Adult Education (IAE).
To commemorate the milestone, the IAE will be devoting the year’s New Year school to the discussion of the decentralisation process.
The Acting Director of the School, Dr Daniel Oduro-Mensah, who announced this at the closing ceremony of the 59th New Year School, moreover, promised the organisation of “the greatest of all New Year Schools,” while participants were assured of “the best of all they expect from a New Year School.”
He said the programme for the school would be modified to include educational tours and exhibitions, with the full complementation of ICT techniques in the programming to improve delivery.
Dr Oduro-Mensah said upon consultations the theme chosen for the 60th New Year School would be “Twenty years of decentralisation in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges,” and asked prospective participants to start saving towards the event.
He expressed appreciation to all the speakers, resource persons and participants at the 59th New Year School, particularly the Vice President, Alhaji Alui Mahama, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof Emmanuel Adow-Obeng and the chairman of the University Council, Mr Anthony Oteng-Gyasi.
He said the IAE had taken note of the challenges that a human gathering of such proportions could pose and would improve on them in subsequent schools.
In a summary of the activities of the New Year School, the raporteur general, Mr Francis Adjei said 360 participants had been registered for the year’s school, a drop in figure compared with 500 for the 2006 year.
He said generally the school had been organised with no major hitches, while participants had participated actively and fully.
Two participants, the headmaster of Prempeh College, Mr A Owusu-Achiaw and the manager of the Presbyterian Educational Unit, Accra, Ms Beatrice Boateng, shared their experiences at the school.
While Mr Owusu-Achiaw asked for shorter periods in programming to help in assimilation and take the stress of long hours of deliberations from older participants, Ms Boateng asked for special tours to be conducted for participants on campus in subsequent schools.
The Registrar of the UG, Mr A. T. Konu, who chaired the function, said it was time for the organisers of the New Year Schools to review the programme and improve on the success.
Prior to the closing session, participants presented their conclusions on discussions at two plenary sessions.
The eight study groups that were set up discussed the main theme of the school, that is “Tertiary education and national development,” in relation to other sub themes on ICT, decentralisation, governance and the relevance of tertiary educational programmes to industry and commerce.
While participants were generally in agreement over the key submissions of presenters at the school, such as, reducing the national financial demands on the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GETFund), as well as synchronising tertiary programmes to industry demands and governmental policy, they made some suggestions themselves.
Key among them was the suggestion for study centres in all regions to enhance distance educational programmers, for standards of assessment at the tertiary level to be competency based rather than mere scores and for constitutional bodies such as the National Commission for Civic Education to work out a contingency plan on how citizens can resist a disruption of the current democratic culture.

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