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See Full Text of Speech by Dr. John Mahama at the Launch of 27th Annual Residential Delegates Congress





I wish to begin by thanking you all very much for the kind invitation and for your presence this afternoon.
I am particularly happy to speak with you today, first because you have reached out to me personally and this explains why I have adjusted my itinerary to be here.
The second reason is that your theme: ‘Prioritization of Technical and Vocational Education: A vehicle to accelerate Industrialization’ coincides with the thinking that dominated my interventions in TVET during my tenure as President and remains in sync with my plans going forward from 7th January, 2021.
Let me at this juncture express my sincere appreciation to Professor Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang and her team that included her two deputies, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Hon. Alex Kyeremeh for the successes that we chalked during my term in office. Indeed, the credit for midwifing the Technical Universities is attributable to Professor Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang and her team at the Ministry of Education. Ghana will forever be grateful to you.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that in my first SONA address in 2013 after I had been newly inducted into office, I announced the policy to convert our Polytechnics into Technical Universities.
I wish to reiterate that the NDC’s idea to turn the Polytechnics into Technical Universities, was for very good reasons. It was about taking education, especially technical and vocational education seriously – making it an anchor of national development and an instrument of national transformation.
I put that pressure on myself and our government for the good of our beloved country, with an overall objective of equipping our youth with high level skills needed in preparation for entry into the world of work.
Your theme resonates so well, since it formed the fulcrum that supported all our actions in the TVET area.
The move was to help advance more vigorously, a process of repositioning the polytechnics as strategic institutions that train personnel with high level technical skills in the TVET domain, towards the country’s economic and national development agenda.
But what thoughts led to this idea in the first place?
I am aware that most of you will be privy to the information I am about to present, but it does not hurt to repeat them and even clarify the thinking behind the actions we took, if only to refresh the memory of some of us, and to share the information with those who might be paying attention to this for the first time.

It was a practical step taken towards the following:
• Diversifying the tertiary terrain,
• Raising the quality of technical education,
• Creating clear pathways for skills development and growth,
• Putting confidence in our learners who choose the paths of technical/vocational
training, and
• Even more important, bridging the gaps between training, employment and national
We acted boldly to remove the glass ceiling that had been imposed on technical education. This ceiling appeared over the years, like a deliberate effort to limit the sphere of our young ones who made the decision to take the path of TVET.
It imposed a certain stigma and inferiority on them. I believe with all conviction at my disposal, that the pupil from JSS who has aptitude for TVET must have his or her horizon expanded to the highest levels of training possible, just like his or her counterparts who choose other paths of education.
This is especially critical at this stage of our national development, when we need more technical human resources to help turn our raw material into processed goods, create and maintain machines and thereby create jobs and stimulate the economy.
The journey from HND to B.Tech was unnecessary and too long and unreasonably frustrating. You know this better than I do- what it was like to struggle to gain admission into the few higher education institutions, which offered the HND holder the opportunity for a top up to upgrade their qualifications into a degree.
The process of conversion of our polytechnics to technical universities was well thought out and planned. We did not simply announce a wholesale conversion ahead of parliamentary discussion and approval that took place.
We set up a panel of experts to meticulously study the landscape, perform a human and equipment as well as an infrastructural audit of the existing polytechnics to guide the conversation and final decisions. The panel studied best practices in many countries and decided that since everyone was pointing at the German model, to study the original that others seemed to replicate, based on their peculiar circumstances and their vision for their countries.
This process was carefully conceived and meticulously thought-through, and it was an intervention that connected the links and created a clear pathway from the JHS through the technical institutes to the TUs.
As a nation, my administration was firmly of the belief that we should make an honest appraisal of TVET, by avoiding the wrong perception that it was the refuge of those who could not meet higher academic standards.

This was a discriminatory, self-defeating, exclusionist, notion that had existed for many decades and was an effective way of leaving many behind. TVET is a legitimate and important area the nation should be interested in advancing, if we wish to make any difference to the basics of our economy.
We had carried out an audit of existing technical schools to aid in plugging identified holes in the pool from which the Technical Universities might source their students. This report led to the selection of 13 technical Institutes for quality improvements.
Under my administration, we invested $60.3 million to commence the expansion of TVET institutions by constructing modern school infrastructure in 13 Technical and Vocational Institutes.
An initial survey revealed sustained neglect of this important type of education. The facilities recommended for construction included workshops, dormitories, staff accommodation, administration blocks and lecture theatres. The larger aim included an equipment audit to be able to retool and fix appropriate tools for study in this critical area of education.
The beneficiary schools were:
• Ada Technical Institute (Greater Accra Region),
• Akwatia Technical Institute (Eastern Region),
• Amankwakrom Technical Institute (Eastern Region)
• Asuansi Technical Institute (Central Region),
• Bolga Technical Institute (Upper East Region),
• Kpando Technical Institute (Volta Region),
• Nkoranza Technical Institute (Brong Ahafo Region),
• Dabokpa Technical Institute (Northern Region),
• Wa Technical Institute (Upper West Region),
• Krobea Asante Technical Institute (Ashanti Region)
• Takoradi Polytechnic (Western Region)
• Accra Polytechnic (Greater Accra Region)
We also sponsored the training of 148 instructors at the Diploma level, 20 instructors at the Master’s level and 5 faculty members at the PhD level, in order to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in TVET institutions. It was imperative that the instructors themselves had the highest levels of training in their respective field, as was required in any institution.
We did not think that it was enough to complain and even admit that as a nation we did not have enough “technical expertise” to transform our natural resources into wealth for our people.

It is still not enough to convince ourselves that we are rich in natural resources when we continue to experience unforgivable levels of poverty and deprivation. Importing technical know-how had become so acceptable that we had all but assumed that was normal.
My government has faith in the ability of our youth to acquire the relevant skills given, the right conditions. As part of supporting brilliant but needy students, we awarded scholarships to 1,520 students, including 333 females, in Polytechnics and Technical Institutes.
It was part of the plan to promote access and at the same time, increase the visibility of females in TVET beyond those areas usually dominated by females.
It was my government that enacted The Technical Education Act, 2016 (Act 992) through parliament to pave the way for the conversion of the first six polytechnics in September 2016, of which the Kumasi Technical University was one of them. The Ministry of Education received, after that date, the report of the expert review panel on the re-assessment of Cape Coast and Tamale Polytechnics to be considered for conversion.
Consequently, an executive approval was given to upgrade the two, bringing the total number of new Technical Universities to eight. It was only two- Wa and Bolgatanga Polytechnics- that were not converted at the time, but we had put in place a programme to accelerate road infrastructure, human resources, and equipment base of these polytechnics so that we could convert them in the shortest possible time. And that is what I expect that the current government must be doing so that Wa and Bolgatanga can join their colleagues as fully-fledged Technical Universities.
While the conversion was going on, my government was still in the process of assisting the remaining polytechnics through retraining of staff, re-tooling of laboratories, renovation of existing infrastructure, deepening governance structures and the running of accredited Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) programmes to merit their conversion to technical universities. This process we will continue when we return to office after we have win the 2020 elections.
Of course you are already aware of the construction projects we started, including hostels, library complexes, workshops, lecture theatres, offices, an ultra-modern hotel, catering and management block, installation of equipment, learning systems, the refurbishments we initiated or completed, among many to ensure that our desire to transform our country was not a slogan.
You are also aware of what progress, if any, has been made since my team and I left office. We maintain our faith in such developments, to give hope to our youth and demonstrate true meaning to the importance of TVET as vehicle to accelerate industrialization.
What I have been trying to demonstrate is that the plan was strategically conceived; it was well thought through; it was not an ad-hoc measure, picking loose ends of a non-existing overall strategy and weaving in coloured threads that don’t fit into the pattern because there is none.

We had a master plan, a blueprint that we followed to ensure that my administration prioritized Technical and Vocational Education as an effective vehicle to accelerate the industrialization in of our beloved country.
It is my intention, in the future government that I will head, to rebrand TVET into an alternative of first choice rather than the wretched path that students are compelled to take when all other doors are closed to them.
I am committed to the improvement of our Educational system to serve as a catalyst for the acceleration of our economy. And this must cover quality, affordability, and access at all levels of the educational ladder.
Basic education is particularly critical as it forms the foundation for solid human resource development. We will continue our work to improve the performance of public schools at both the basic and secondary levels.
We will resume our programme to fast-track educational infrastructure at the secondary level to absorb the increased numbers occasioned by the implementation of the Free SHS programme.
We will complete all the remaining 200 Community Day SHS we began and build additional ones in high density urban communities, including the Zongos and the underserved areas. I believe that this will bring secondary education to the doorsteps of our people.
In the first 3 months of my coming into office we will hold a stakeholder consultation with parents, teachers, and educational experts to identify and eliminate all the bottlenecks that are affecting the effective implementation of the free SHS programme.
Ladies and gentlemen, Free SHS is here to stay!
Indeed, it is underpinned and guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and it cannot be reversed by any government. But all administrations, including this one and any future one, have an obligation to make it a qualitative and enjoyable experience for our children.
And I am determined to make secondary education a beneficial learning experience, more than the current miserable conditions our children are having to face, under the Nana Akufo-Addo administration.
At a later date, before the election of 2020, I intend to lay out in detail before all stakeholders and the good people of Ghana, our blue-print for the educational sector and especially our plan for making the Free SHS programme more sustainable.
And as I have said in my statement, we intend to continue to clear the pathway, so that the path towards technical and vocational education training from the basic level, through the secondary level, to the tertiary level, will be an alternative of first choice and not an alternative of “rejected students”.

Indeed, I daresay that we need our brightest and best to take the path of technical education, if we are to transform this country.
Let me once again thank your executives and organisers for your kind invitation to be with you, and I wish to assure you that I will always be an advocate and an ambassador for technical universities and technical education in the Republic of Ghana.
Thank you very much and may God richly bless you.


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NLC, TUC Declare Indefinite Strike




The organised labour unions, comprising the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), have declared an indefinite strike effective from October 3, 2023.

TUC President, Festus Osifo declared the strike at a joint press conference also attended by the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero in Abuja on Tuesday.

Ajaero, who spoke first, carpeted the Federal Government over what he described as lackadaisical stance to address demands raised by the unions since the subsidy removal policy took effect.

He accused the government of deliberate refusal to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue within the ambits of good faith during the 21 days ultimatum and the subsequent successful 2-day nationwide warning strike on the 5th and 6th of September 2023.

According to the NLC President, the National Executive Councils (NEC) of the NLC and TUC in their various meetings deeply analyzed the current situation in the country, taking into cognisance the extensive hardships and deprivation afflicting the citizens across all states of the federation.

He said both NECs unanimously condemned the government’s apparent conscious lethargy and tardiness in handling the consequences of its petrol price hike on Nigerians.

Ajaero also noted that the NLC and the TUC NEC-in-session observed that there is no disagreement between Labour and Government on the existence of massive suffering, impoverishment and hunger in the country as a result of the hike in the price of Petrol which demands an urgent need for remedial action.

He said the government totally abdicated its responsibility and had shown gross unwillingness to act, thereby abandoning Nigerian people and workers to excruciating poverty and affliction.

He went on to accuse the federal government of continuous grandstanding and forestalling all avenues to peaceful dialogue with organized labour on ways to save Nigerians from the huge hunger and suffering experienced across the nation.

“As a result of the unconscionable hike in the price of Petrol (PMS) by the Government, the Government has continued to demonstrate not just an unwillingness to mitigate the massive hardship in the country but also a complete lack of intention to take positive steps and empathy for the multi-dimensionally impoverished citizens of Nigeria.

“The federal Government has therefore not met in any substantial way, the demands of Nigerian workers and peoples as previously canvassed in our mutually agreed roadmap to salvaging the economy and protecting workers and Nigerians from the monumental hardship.

“The grace period given by the two labour centres has expired but trade unions continue to face severe threat from the State via the brutal and suppressive power of the Police and Government.

“The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) continues to be illegally occupied by the Government via the instrumentality of the police who have cloned the leadership of NURTW.

“The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) continues to be illegally occupied by the Lagos State government in total disregard to the Courts and the statutes.

“That the State has continued to blackmail and sponsor serious campaigns of calumny against trade union leaders in the social media using its buying and coercive powers instead of making efforts to lift the burden on the masses,” the NLC President stated.

When Osifo got hold of the microphone, he said, consequently, the NLC and TUC NEC-in-Session resolved as follows: “to, in the spirit of the Independence Day celebration and to demonstrate our resolve for a truly independent Nigeria to take our destinies in our own hands and rescue our nation

“To embark on an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation beginning on zero hours Tuesday, the 3rd day of October, 2023. To direct all workers in Nigeria to withdraw their services from their respective workplaces commencing from the 3rd of October.

“To direct all affiliates and state councils to immediately start mobilizing accordingly for action to organize street protests and rallies until Government responds positively to our demands.

“We enjoin all patriotic Nigerians to join hands across the nation to assist this government put the people back at the centre of its policies and programmes.”

Daily Post

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Nigerians Will Be Shocked If Chicago Varsity Releases Tinubu’s Academic Records – Obaseki




A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and member of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) in the last election, Dr Don Pedro Obaseki, has said Nigerians will be shocked if the Chicago State University (CSU) releases the academic records of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

Obaseki who was the Director of Research and Documentation of PDP – PCC in the 2023 election explained that Atiku is seeking an open disclosure of Tinubu’s CSU documents because it is believed that the Supreme Court of Nigeria may be compelled to listen to fresh evidence in the petitions already submitted to it.

Speaking during a zoom conference hosted by Prof. Gold Emmanuel, a psychologist based in London, on Monday, Obaseki said it was because of the nature of the issue and the need for Nigerians to know that the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is insisting on the full disclosure of President Tinubu’s academic records by the Chicago State University.

He said even though President Tinubu has said the public disclosure of his CSU documents would cause irreparable damage to him, “Nigerians would even be more shocked to know more about the certificate in question.”

He said, “Even when the court of first instance and the appellate court have convicted someone to death minutes before the Supreme Court gives its final judgement and there arose fresh and compelling facts and evidence, the apex court is bound to listen to the fresh facts before making its final judgement.

Daily Trust

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Esports Education in Africa: EStars, Chrisland Schools Strike Innovative Collaboration




EStars, the pioneering esports education provider, and Chrisland Schools, the foremost educational institution in Nigeria, have announced a ground-breaking collaboration that marks a significant step towards integrating esports into education in Africa.

The partnership, which is the first of its kind in Africa, underscores a shared commitment between both organisations to revolutionise education in Africa through esports.
In a statement, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EStars, Mags Byrne, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Chrisland Schools to activate the transformative potential of esports in education for students in Nigeria and Africa. Byrne added: “We strongly believe that this collaboration will yield mutually beneficial and enduring results. The overwhelming response to the pilot scheme at Chrisland Schools reaffirmed our belief in the transformative potential of esports in the classroom.”

The partnership, sealed in August, has set the tone for schools across the continent and beyond to implement global best practices in education by introducing esports as a vehicle for learning and the development of skills.

Managing Director/CEO, Chrisland Schools, Mrs. Ibironke Adeyemi said, “We are excited to be the first school group in Africa to embark on this path of educational innovation alongside EStars. Our commitment to fostering a dynamic learning environment that resonates with our students’ interests and aspirations informed this partnership. We believe that the fusion of esports and education has the potential to unlock new realms of engagement and learning for our students.”

Sharing his views, Chair of the Institute of Directors Africa Group, Joel Popoola, who is leading EStars’ expansion across Africa said, “As a dad, I have often found myself telling my children to stop playing computer games and to focus on their homework. The truth, however, is that some of our children’s favourite games – including FIFA and Fortnite are embedded with genuine educational value in areas such as mathematics, the sciences and information technology. By centring learning around gaming activities, Estars have stimulated a unique interest in children to engage technology in their learning”.

Popoola further stated “the partnership between EStars and Chrisland Schools not only promises to empower students with the requisite skills to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape but is also consistent with President Bola Tinubu’s resolve on the promise of his administration to create meaningful opportunities for our youth including one million new jobs in the digital economy.”

EStars is the leading esports education provider and is committed to harnessing the power of esports to unlock a unique learning experience for students. EStars encourages the development and cultivation of core skills such as teamwork, creativity, strategic thinking, and problem solving through esports.

EStars offer a range of esports services to educational bodies, including after schools clubs, designing and building esports classrooms and delivering formal qualifications in esports. EStars are the only industry experts delivering the Pearson-accredited International BTEC in Esports in the MENA region.

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