town hall

The Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural development on Thursday 10th August, 2017 held one of its Town Hall Meeting at Bekwai in the Ashanti region. The programme which is aimed at deepening the governance system at the grass root level where the indigenous people are considered in decision making by the executive will be replicated across the country.

In a welcome address, the Municipal Chief Executive for Bekwai, Hon. Kwaku Kyei Baffour said the meeting was purposely to interact with the various segments of the society and also to provide a platform for them to ask relevant questions on developmental issues in the country. The Chief Executive presented to the people some of the programmes, activities and projects the assembly was embarking upon.

He called for the support of all stakeholders and the general public to ensure the accelerated development of the municipality. Hon. Kwaku Kyei Baffour promised to operate an open-door policy in his administration. Speaking at the event, the Municipal Agric Director, Mr Emmanuel Mensah thoroughly explained government’s “planting for Food and Jobs” policy to the gathering.

On the issue of Free Senior High School, Mr Obeng Amponsah, Public Relations Officer at Ghana education Service in Bekwai explained that with the Free Senior High School, there will be no Admission Fees, no Library Fees, and no Utility Fees etc.

He informed the people that, Free Senior High School is not only for Senior High Schools as it will also cover Agricultural, Vocational and Technical Institutions at the high school level. He stated categorically that, there will be no cut off point for admission into Senior High School. The deputy minister for information, Hon. Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah, who was the main speaker for the event on his part said, government has instituted the forum as a means to provide insight into its activities as well as to provide a plat form to interact with the citizens.

He indicated that upon their assumption in office some eight (8) months ago, they inherited an economy that was in deep crisis and had to put in place certain measures to put it back on track. Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said education was one of the high priority sectors of the government and the Free Senior High School programme being one of its flagship policies will commence in September 2017. He hinted that, it will cost government about GH¢400 million to implement the Free Senior High School for the 2017/2018 academic year.

He disclosed that campaign promises such as Free Senior High School, One District One Factory, One Village One Dam among others will all be fulfilled by the government. The deputy minister promised that, suggestions, questions as well as criticisms raised at the forum will all be looked into and addressed accordingly. The Ashanti Regional Minister Hon. Simon Osei Mensah who was also present at the event thanked all the people for coming and promised to address all the concerns raised.

He advised the people not to listen to persons who claim the Free Senior High School policy is a lie and cannot be implemented but rather support the government to enable them deliver to the satisfaction of all Ghanaians. In attendance were Barima Offe Akwasi Okugyeasuo II, Omanhene of Kokofu Traditional Council who also chaired the event, Civil Society Groups, Departmental Heads, Chiefs and Elders, Muslim Leaders among others.

The citizenry took turns to ask their questions, criticized when necessary while others too offered some suggestions at the event.

 - By Eric Nti Boateng, ISD – Bekwai

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