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Sports News of Friday, 5 March 2004

Source: GNA

MP appeals for separate Sports Ministry

Accra, Mar. 5, GNA - Mr. Cletus Avoka, NDC - Bawku West, on Friday appealed to President John Agyekum Kufuor to separate the Ministry of Youth and Sports from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS), to ensure efficiency in the functions of the institutions under the two sectors.

He said "it is an irony for the President to have divided the Ministry of Transport and Communications as pertained under the NDC, into three separate ministries of Communication, of Roads and Transport and of Highways, Ports and Harbours, and yet box-up the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports together."

The member was contributing to a motion for the approval of an amount of 3.466 trillion cedis for the services of the (MEYS) for the 2004 fiscal year, moved by Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, the sector Minister. The amount, which is the largest budgetary allocation for a single ministry comprised of 3.331 trillion cedis (96.1 per cent) government component and 134.163 billion cedis (3.9 per cent) donor component. Mr. Avoka said considering the enormity of the task facing the Ministry of Education alone, given that there were now 10 Polytechnics, five state universities and several other tertiary, second cycles and basic education institutions in the country, coupled with their teacher training problems, it was only wise that the Education Ministry was kept separate on its own.
He noted that in the case of sports, the sector has become more of a business in the modern world than just a social sector, adding that sports had put Ghana on the world map before and had the potential of putting Ghana back on the world map depending on how it was managed.
"Putting the Ministry of Sport under the Minister of Education leaves the sports sector with very few people to manage it and hence the inefficiency in the management of the sector is bound to continue," he argued.
"We even need to separate the Youth Ministry from sports and have a ministry that will focus solely on sports with the view to improving our stake in the global sports arena and bringing the country back on the world sports map."
In a related development, Mr. Baah-Wiredu moved for the second reading of the University of Education, Winneba, Bill, which was intended to create a legal framework that would upgrade that university to the level of a fully-fledged university.
Members in their contributions held the opinion that the university had long reached the level of a fully-fledged university and that the upgrading of its status to reflect that, was long overdue.
The University of Education, Winneba, had since its inception been linked to the University of Cape Coast, from where its graduates were awarded their degrees.
"When the bill is passed into law the former will have its independence to award degrees to its graduates on its own."
Mr. Mike Hammer, NDC - Awutu-Senya appealed to the government to consider naming the university either Winneba University of Education or University of Winneba, to boost the image of Winneba, which is already a popular tourist town.