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General News of Friday, 21 July 2006

Source: GNA

GIJ bill passed

Accra, July 21, GNA - Parliament on Friday passed the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) Bill, which seeks to make GIJ a degree awarding institution.

With the passage of the bill, the Institute, which now comes under the supervision of Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, shall train students in skills and techniques of journalism, mass communication, advertising, public relations and information technology. The Institute, which was established in 1959 to train prospective journalists in the skills and techniques of journalism, mass communication and public relations among other things, has operated over the years as a diploma awarding institution.

In August 1990, the Government issued a white paper on the tertiary education system and proposals were made to upgrade the GIJ to a degree awarding institution.

A report of the Parliamentary Committee on Education said the bill was to make the Institute more adaptive to the rapidly changing trends in the media industry.

The House also took the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Bill through the second reading.

A report of the Education Committee said the "purpose of the bill is to revise the WAEC Law, 1991 (PNDCL. 255) to bring it in consonance with the revised West African Examination Convention of 2004 and changes made in membership of the Council and to update the penalties imposed for examination offences".

The report said the Committee observed that penalties for examination offences provided for under the existing law PNDCL 225 "have been overtaken by events. The law provides for a fine of not less than 20,000 cedis and not exceeding 500,000 cedis or imprisonment for a term not more than two years or to both".

The Committee said in view of this, it observed that the above provision was not deterrent enough and had resulted in a situation where persons who were found to have caused leakages got away with ridiculously low fines.

"The Committee, therefore, welcomes the amendment which seeks to revise upward the existing penalties, which in the opinion of the Committee will among other benefits serve as a deterrent to persons who may want to engage in examination malpractices," the report said

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