The approval of 523 million euros credit facility by the German Development Bank by the Parliament and the introduction of Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman to the leadership of the Christian Council and the Islamic community by former President John Mahama are the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the Parliament has approved a €523-million credit facility agreement between the government and the German Development Bank, Deutsche Bank, to finance the construction of sections of the western railway line from Takoradi Port to Huni Valley in the Western Region.
The House also granted waiver of import duties, import value added tax (VAT), levies and domestic levies amounting to €72.29 million on project materials and equipment to be imported for the execution of the standard gauge railway line.
The report added that the project will be executed by Amandi Investment Limited and will be completed within 42 months from the date of commencement.
The agreements and request were presented to the House on August 3, this year, by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on behalf of the Minister of Finance and the request and agreements were referred to the Committee on Finance for consideration and report.
The newspaper says that former President John Dramani Mahama will today, Wednesday, August 12, 2020, introduce his running mate Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman to the leadership of the Christian Council and the Islamic community in Accra.
The Flag-bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will meet the National Chief Imam, Sheik Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, at the Old Fadama in Accra where Prof Opoku-Agyeman will be introduced to him.
A statement issued by Mr. Mahama’s campaign Spokesperson, James Agyenim-Boateng made this known.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman, who is partnering Mr. Mahama for the upcoming December presidential polls, is currently touring the Greater Accra Region.
The Graphic also reports that the government is introducing a Professional Teacher Allowance (PTA) of GHc1,200 per year for professional teachers and GHc600 per year for non-professional teachers to deepen their commitment and spur professional growth, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has announced.
The minister said the move would enable teachers to invest in improving and upgrading their skills and keeping abreast of modern trends to assist in improving learning outcomes.
Dr Prempeh stated this when he presented a statement on education and teacher reforms in Parliament yesterday.
The minister said with teachers at the centre of the education system, the government was motivated to initiate several reforms in the education space. Such initiatives focused on positioning teachers to acquire the right set of skills to deliver quality learning outcomes for pupils and students.
The Times reports that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is hopeful Mr. Mahama’s pedigree as a former president should inure to his benefit to recapture power in the December 2020 polls.
The party insisted that his time in government should count in his favour when the citizenry go to the polls because the differences in performance between the current Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration and the Mahama-led administration, is now clearer for the electorate to judge.
According to Peter Otokunor, the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, the party expects former President Mahama’s time in government, should count in his favour when Ghanaians go to the polls on December 7.
He explained that the differences in performance between the current Akufo-Addo-led administration and the Mahama-led administration, kicked out of office in 2016, is now clearer for them to judge and maintained that “if we have a former president contesting the election, the dynamics are going to be different because former President Mahama is the first incumbent to lose an election in the nation’s electoral history.
The newspaper also says that the minimum teaching qualification for Ghanaian basic school teachers is now a bachelor’s degree, the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has announced.
He said the decision was as a result of research evidence that, weakness in the quality of teachers holding diplomas affect their delivery.
Dr. Prempeh explained that the report by the Department for International Development in 2015, observed that Diploma in Education curriculum does not adequately prepare trainees to teach in Ghanaian schools.
“Mr Speaker, we deeply appreciate the fact that early years of a child’s education are extremely significant to their future.
“Consequently, we have, in focus on teacher reforms taken necessary steps to upgrade all our Colleges of Education to University Colleges to award a Bachelor of Education degrees, following a review of teacher education curriculum into standards-based curriculum,” he said.