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2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination

The 2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE is ongoing across the country.  517,332 candidates from 16,871 public and private basic schools nationwide are writing the examination. The candidates are made up of 263,616 males and 253,716 females. The examination started with two subject, English and Religious and Moral Education in all the 1,880 examination centres across the country. Reports indicate that it started smoothly yesterday without much hitches showing an improvement over the previous years. The only incident which is likely to dent the image of this year’s examination is the arrest of a Proprietor and Headmaster of a Private School in the Ketu South Municipality for allegedly registering 62 Togolese students as Ghanaians to take part in the examination.  The two are assisting the Police in their investigations. According to reports, the intent was to enable the foreign students to benefit from Ghana’s free SHS which is reserved for Ghanaians. It is sad citizens …

Ensuring Religious Tolerance In The Country

Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, Director of Corporate Communication, Ghana Standards Authority. The joint-observance of Iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset in Parliament by Muslims and Christians as well as other forms of collaboration among different religious groups in the country constitutes a very significant landmark in the history of the country. Accommodating each other’s beliefs and practices is the first step towards religious harmony, unity and national progress. Many a time, this behaviour, wrong as it is, comes out of ignorance. When people are aware and understand the essence of religious beliefs and practices, they will never be violent or clamp down on others who do not belong to their group. It is pleasant for people to belong to the same group and share common ideas since that makes it easy for their members to understand each other. However, that should not be adequate grounds for any group to antagonise another on the basis of d…

Importance Of Biological Diversity In Food And On Human Health

The celebration of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, is a wake up call for everybody, to begin to take seriously our changing environment and its implications for people’s lives. Biological diversity refers to all different kinds of life on earth including the sea. Biodiversity in the form of trees purify the air, maintain the soil, regulates climate, recycle nutrients and provides us with food. They also provide raw materials and resources for medicines and other purposes. There are reports by the UN indicating that more than 90 percent of crop varieties and half of the breeds of domestic animals are being wiped out. Furthermore, all the main fishing grounds are now being utilised at or above their sustainable limits. Ghana, is not exempted from biodiversity loss. This is evident in the disappearance of some indigenous yam such as Nkeni, Nkamfuoo and kookoasi Bayere among the Akans. In the area of local spices like Efom Wisa and Hwentiaa; these have almost vani…

President Akufo-Addo assents to RTI Act

It is commendable the speed with which President Akufo-Addo assented to the law on Right to Information. This follows its passage by parliament in March this year. The only snag is that it will take effect in January 2020. The road to the passage of the law has been quite tortuous as several attempts were made to jettison or frustrate its passage. The fact is that, the bill had gone through two decades of advocacy. It was first drafted in 1999 and was reviewed several times. It all started with the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA, a policy think tank when the Bank of Ghana refused to give it information on the interest rate, inflation and national debt for national security reasons. If today the bill has finally been given Presidential assent for it to become an enforceable law, then we need to applaud all the players who fought to make it a reality. This is because it will put our democracy into a better state. Ghana’s democracy has been touted globally and the RTI law will raise…

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In the wake of the September 2001 bombings of the World Trade Centre, the General Assembly of the United Nations welcomed the declaration by UNESCO for 21st May every year to be marked as a day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development. The relevance of marking this day is for the promotion of greater awareness on the crucial relationship between cultural diversity and development especially at a time the world is still grappling with terrorists’ attacks which have their roots in lack of basic understanding of cultural diversity as a tool for dialogue and development. Cultural diversity, if well understood should be a driving force for development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading to a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional and moral life.Cultural diversity is an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development. Indeed, a world with people with the same political ideology, culture, reli…

Shatta Wale-Stonebwoy Brawl At The VGMA

Report of Police investigation into the brawl between the camps of Dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale at the 20th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, VGMA is heart-warming but disturbing. According to the Accra Regional Director of Operations, ACP Kwesi Fori, the two musicians will be charged depending on the outcome of the investigation. Rivalry between the two Dancehall artistes who have been battling for Supremacy got nasty during the music awards night temporarily halting the hitherto exciting event aimed at celebrating Ghanaian musicians. Stonebwoy is alleged to have pulled out a gun while on stage to pick the coveted Reggae Dancehall Artiste of the year award. His action follows a rather unceremonious attitude of Shatta Wale who mounted the stage with his Shatta For Life fans, while Stonebwoy flanked by his Bhim Nation Squad was about to address the enthusiastic crowd as has been the norm. Shatta Wale had earlier picked two awards but was not present in person to receive the…

Significance of Ramadan

Muslims believe that fasting in the month of Ramadan develops in them the real spirit of social belonging, of unity and brotherhood, and of equality before God.
This spirit is the natural product of the fact that when people fast, they feel that they are joining the whole Muslim society which makes up more than one fifth of the world’s population in observing the same duty, in the same manner, at the same time, for the same motives, and for the same end. “What is fasting?” “How does the fasting of Muslims in Ramadan differ from the fasting of other faiths?” “Why should one ‘torture’ one’s body in the first place?” “What do you really gain from fasting in the end?”.   It is important to note that Fasting in Arabic is called, “Sawm”, which literally means ‘to be at rest’. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars upon which Islam is built. During this month, every able-bodied Muslim, is required to fast, every day from dawn until dusk In Islam, it is believed that Fasti…