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General News of Sunday, 20 September 2015

Source: GNA

Ahwoi challenges notion about capacity of assemblies

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, a local government expert, has challenged the notion that the district assemblies lack the capacity to take the needed decisions to solve the development challenges facing them.

He said, the appointment of some personnel from the district assemblies and the local communities to hold national positions and take policy decisions and implement for the whole country are evidence that , the notion of lack of capacity at the local level does not always hold.

Prof Ahwoi called for the utilisation of available human capacities at the district assemblies and where there is evidence that a particular human capacity is lacking, people with those abilities could be employed to do the job.

Prof Ahwoi was speaking at the formal opening of the stakeholders consultative meeting on the proposed education decentralisation bill for personnel from Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern regions at Koforidua.

He explained that, the object of the bill is to provide for a decentralised pre-tertiary educational system in the country with the focus on enhancing local participation in the management of education to help raise the performance of the pupils at the pre-tertiary level.

Prof Ahwoi explained that, whenever supervisor of schools is taken away from the scene of the action, standards often fall and so when the district and local authorities are deeply involved in the supervision of schools in the past, it was possible to see pupils from rural communities qualifying to the best tertiary institutions in the world.

Under the bill, the education sector would be under the Department of Education, Youth and Sports of the District Assembly which would be headed by a director of the department with the directorate of education, youth and sports each having separate directors.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Antwi Boasiako Sekyer said when the bill is passed into law, it would ensure the implementation of the compulsory aspect of the Free, Compulsory Universal Access to Education policy of the country since it spells out punishment for parents who refuse to send their children to school.

He said the bill would also set the required standards for both the public and private schools at the pre-tertiary level of education.

The Regional Minister therefore called on the participants to make meaningful contribution to the bill so that, when it is passed into law, it would reflect the general views of the people.

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