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Teacher unions set to strike over GHc 50m arrears

The three teacher unions have told the government to brace itself for a strike during the second term of the 2017/2018 academic year.

Although a specific date for the strike has not been given, the second term begins next week. The intended strike is in connection with the non-payment of arrears amounting to over GHc 50 million.

According to them, the said arrears were captured to be paid in the March 2017 budget but were not paid.
The unions, comprising the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), have been negotiating with the government for the past 11 months.

The unions say the unpaid allowances have accrued from 2013 to date.

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Klo-Agogo students ‘packed like sardines’ in dormitories

As part of an ongoing campaign by Joy News to highlight issues in the implementation of the free SHS programme, the spotlight falls on Klo-Agogo Senior High School, where dormitories are overcrowded.

Students are forced to roll out their mattresses on the floor due to unavailable beds.

A bed meant to accommodate one student now squeaks to the weight of two or more students huddling to get a night’s sleep.

The free SHS policy that begun in September this year increased school enrollment in all Senior High Schools across the country, bringing untold difficulties on school administrators due partly to what many analysts say is the result of an in exhaustive planning process.

The school administrators, many of them overwhelmed by the numbers, are currently ensuring the smooth running of the program in spite of the challenges.


Ghanaians asked to connect education to socio-ecological challenges

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Dr Bob Offei Manteaw, a lecturer at the Africa Institute of Sanitation and Waste Management has called for a National Dialogue on the future of education in the country.
Dr Manteaw said Ghana should review its educational policies by adopting teaching and learning approaches that empower learners to solve social and ecological challenges.
He therefore called on the government, educational leaders and stakeholders to consider a wholesale overhaul of teaching and learning in schools.
Dr Manteaw, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday, said the current social and ecological challenges such as sanitation, climate change and disasters facing the country have exposed obvious lapses in educational standards.


School of Applied Science of T’poly holds research conference

The School of Applied Science of the Takoradi Polytechnic, has organized her maiden Research Conference to promote knowledge sharing, as well as ensure industrial growth and job creation.
The research conference provided the platform for academicians and researchers to share their research findings and knowledge to the teaching and non-teaching community.
Mr. Kow Panyin Nketsiah Richardson, Public Relations Officer of the Takoradi Polytechnic, told the Ghana News Agency that the Research Conference had come to stay, and it would help the Department to more frequently interact with the learning and industrial communities.
“You are therefore called upon to look out for notices and posters “Calling for Papers”. It is noteworthy to mention that we accept only original and unpublished papers”, he added.


Why free schools have not solved Kenya's problems

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Kenya has been praised for introducing free primary school education, in line with one of the Millennium Development Goals, but the country is now battling to raise education standards, as the BBC's Anne Soy has been finding out in Nairobi.
The classroom is crammed.
Four or five children squeeze into 1.5m-long wooden desks with the ones at the end forced to stretch a leg out into the aisle to stabilise them.
They are not sitting comfortably but they do seem to be concentrating on the maths lesson.
At the front one of the class is working out a conversion of grammes to kilogrammes.
The rest of them - roughly 100 11-year-olds - recite the answer in chorus.
The teacher walks around the classroom making sure all the pupils are on the same page of the textbook.
This is the scene at Nairobi's Olympic Primary School, which once had a reputation for high academic standards.


MTN Ghana trains Accra College students and Teachers

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MTN Ghana Foundation, has undertaken an Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Public Speaking training programme at the Accra College of Education (AcCE) for the teachers and students.
Mrs Georgina Fiagbenu, Corporate Communications Senior Manager of the Foundation, said the training followed a request made by the College to improve the skills of the teachers in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, whilst the students were exposed to the skills of public speaking.
Mrs Fiagbenu said the training was part of the Foundation’s programme dubbed: “21 days of MTN
Yello Care,” which takes place annually from June 1- June 21 to enable employers to volunteer their services in communities to touch lives.
She said the programme was aimed at empowering the teachers to take advantage of the digital trend.


Your Toddler Probably Has Something To Teach You About Right And Wrong

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Parents consider teaching their children the difference between right and wrong to be an important duty, but a recent study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology suggests that children may have a little something to teach adults, too.
Thanks to an inventive set of experiments conducted via puppet, researchers in Germany and the U.K found that children may have an innate sense of restorative justice and even intervene on behalf of others in addition to themselves when something has gone wrong.
The Background


Reading, Writing, Required Silence: How Meditation Is Changing Schools And Students

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On a Wednesday afternoon in early May, after a full day of studying the Byzantine Empire and sitting through lessons on annotation and critical reading, the sixth-graders in Zsazita Walker’s social studies and language arts class were, expectedly, acting like sixth-graders. School was almost over and the classroom, scattered with posters, worksheets and lesson plans, was buzzing with chatty, curious 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds who knew they'd soon be free from class.

But before dismissal, one exercise remained. The kids shuffled from grouped tables to neat, forward-facing rows of desks. Walker counted down from five, telling her students to make sure the table tops were cleared. A boy walked to the front of the classroom, sat in a chair to face his classmates, and rang a bell.


How to Learn 30 Languages

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Out on a sunny Berlin balcony, Tim Keeley and Daniel Krasa are firing words like bullets at each other. First German, then Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Croatian, Mandarin and Thai – they’ve barely spoken one language before the conversation seamlessly melds into another. Together, they pass through about 20 different languages or so in total.
Back inside, I find small groups exchanging tongue twisters. Others are gathering in threes, preparing for a rapid-fire game that involves interpreting two different languages simultaneously. It looks like the perfect recipe for a headache, but they are nonchalant. “It’s quite a common situation for us,” a woman called Alisa tells me.


The man behind the million-dollar teacher

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This year saw the first Global Teacher Prize award ceremony being beamed around the world.
Nancie Atwell, a teacher from Maine in the United States, received the million-dollar prize and then, in the spirit of public service, announced that she was giving it all to her school.
Applauding her on stage was former US president Bill Clinton and, looking down benignly from a video screen, Bill Gates.
Much less conspicuous was the man who had come up with the idea in the first place.
Sunny Varkey was the founder and funder of this global project to bring status and recognition - as well as some glitz and glamour - to teaching.
But Mr Varkey admits that before launching the project almost everyone told him it was a terrible idea.
They thought it would go against the grain to see an individual teacher getting a prize of a size usually associated with a film star's payout or a banker's bonus.
But he ignored them and followed his own instincts.


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