Thursday, May 15, 2014


 By: Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei
Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana has declared a nation wide strike from effect May 15, 2014.
According to the Local Chairman of POTAG at Cape Coast Polytechnic Isaac Aggrey-Fynn has necessitated this painful action due to lack of commitment on the part of government to pay the book and research allowance. 
Mr. Aggrey- Fynn noted that the Deputy Minister of Education in charged of Tertiary Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, that the government wants to use the book and research allowance as seed money for the research fund.

Following Congress decision at an Emergency Congress meeting held at Accra Polytechnic on 13th May 2014, POTAG write to inform all chapters that we are to lay down our tools and withdraw all our services with immediate effect. This has become necessary as a result of Governments’ unwillingness and persistent lack of seriousness towards the payment of our Book and Research Allowance for the 2013/2014 Academic Year.
This stance by Government is further aggravated by National Labour Commission’s refusal to even acknowledge us after we had written to inform the NLC of the matter. POTAG therefore have no choice than to resort to this action in order to fight for our rights and to defend our conditions of service. Amongst a litany of issues are;
1. That the Book and Research (B&R) Allowance is part and parcel of POTAG’s negotiated Conditions of Service.
2. That this allowance was negotiated for and agreed upon by both parties and therefore no single party (in this case government) can unilaterally take them off. Indeed POTAG would have unilaterally increased this allowance long ago if it were possible for any single party to vary the terms.
3. We have requested Government through the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to take steps to pay us the 2013/2014 Academic Year’s B&R Allowance before the end of the academic year in May. POTAG first made the request in a letter dated 6th January 2014, government was subsequently reminded of this request in letters dated 17th of February 2014 and 18th March 2014 respectively.
4. At a press conference held in Kumasi Polytechnic on the 15th of April 2014, POTAG gave Government an ultimatum of 22nd April 2014 to take immediate steps to pay the allowance.
5. In a letter dated 15th April 2014, we wrote to inform the National Labour Commission (NLC) of Government’s obstinate attitude towards this matter. We also in same letter stated our intention to divulge all legitimate arsenals to fight for this allowance.
6. At a meeting with the Minister of Education on the 22nd April 2014, Government called for documentation, showing proof that the B&R is part of our conditions of service. This in POTAG’s view amounts to feet dragging and a demonstration of lack of commitment by Government.
7. Again at a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education (Tertiary) on the 13th of April 2014, Government exhibited yet non-commitment to resolving the matter.
8. We believe that this is not a good industrial relations practice by Government and a clear affront to the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).
In the midst of this blatant disregard and lack of cooperation by Government, POTAG is left in the woods wondering the kind of obligation that Government has towards Polytechnic Education. We are therefore compelled to advise ourselves and take the necessary steps to fight for our Conditions of Service (B&R Allowance). We also wish to remind stakeholders and civil society of Government’s obstinate attitude towards resolving simple and straightforward issues, which would eventually fester and leave serious consequences on manpower development drive in Ghana.
Long Live POTAG
Long Live Polytechnic Education
Long Live Ghana

Thank you,
(General Secretary)

Friday, May 9, 2014


 Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei
Antem Basic School was one of the affected buildings  of the flood, that Cape Coast experienced
Some areas in the Cape Coast metropolis got flooded on Wednesday after a heavy rainstorm. Several structures including schools and church buildings were affected. Four churches had been hit and its members were trying to retrieve some items from the Antem school building.
A resident  said: “We have lost a lot of things. I don’t think I can even mention them due to the magnitude.”
The Central Regional National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) says there is no cause for alarm following the flooding of some areas in the Cape Coast Municipality.
The Central Regional NADMO coordinator, Yisande Amartey in an interview with Citi News explained that “people haven’t been displaced; the water receded immediately after the rains so I don’t think there is any cause for alarm. We are firmly on the ground.”
Mr. Amartey attributed the intensity of the flooding to the construction of a fuel station in the middle of a waterway which prevented the free flow of the rainwater during the rainstorm.
He noted that his outfit is currently assessing the extent of damage that has been caused and “until we send the report to Accra, we cannot do anything immediately.”
He however dismissed claims that about 40 houses had been affected but clarified that an estimated number of about 26 houses were hit by the flood.
He revealed personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service had been deployed to pump out the water from the affected buildings d and assured residents that NADMO was working to put the situation under control.


By: Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei
Hon. Addo in White and Dr. Asare in Black suite
From Next year Medical Doctors who complete their Housmanship will not be appointed immediately in the government hospitals until they are given a financial clearance from the ministry of finance.

This is as a result of Government spending over 90% on wage bill; hence the directive from the Ministries of Health and Finance not to appoint any medical doctor until the clearance is given.

This was made known by the Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital Dr. Daniel Asare in answer to question from CITI FM Correspondent Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei regarding the new directive from the ministry of finance that only 3 months back pay can be paid to any public worker even if the worker had not been paid for more than one year. He said that health workers are not affected by the 3month back pay directive.

In a related development the Central Regional Minister Ebenezer Tey Addo has directed that the Teaching Hospital create a Kidney Fund that can assist patients who suffering from kidney problems to assist them to be treated since it is a lifelong disease.

Hon. Addo said this when he toured the Teaching Hospital to familiarize himself with the operations of the hospital.
Some of the workers indicated that they are facing acute water shortage in the hospital including inadequate accommodation challenges. They appealed to the minister to assist in solving the challenges affecting them. 



One of the major road safety challenges in the West African sub-region is the rising deaths among passengers of buses. 

Today Thursday May 8, 2014 is the West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO) day. May 8, every year has been set aside by WARSO and observed by all West African Countries to celebrate the anniversary of the inauguration of WARSO.
All member countries are expected to mark the WARSO day with activities aimed at improving the knowledge and confidence of bus passengers to demand safety from bus operators and drivers.
WARSO was established 6 years ago today under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, then President of ECOWAS to among others; promote road safety in west African; Foster partnership and collaboration at the sub-regional level to advance the road safety agenda and to enhance knowledge sharing and harmonization of some national plans of actions within the sub-region;

Over the last six years of existence, WARSO has  harmonized the Use of standard retro-reflective tape by vehicles in West Africa to aid vehicle conspicuity; developed a standard format for road traffic crash data collection; initiated a Regional Vehicle Administration and Information System (RVAIS) project in order to have a uniform vehicle registration system in the Sub-Region and has also introduced the Passenger Manifest to collect information on both drivers and passengers at bus terminals before the start of a journey among others.

The theme for this year’s WARSO day is “Empowering Passengers of buses to improve road safety in West Africa”.

One of the major road safety challenges in the West African sub-region is the rising deaths among passengers of buses. All member countries are expected to mark the WARSO day with activities aimed at improving the knowledge and confidence of bus passengers to demand safety from bus operators and drivers.

The Executive Director of the National Road Safety Commission, Ing.(Mrs.) May Obiri-Yeboah says that, “On the occasion of WARSO day, we in Ghana make a respectful appeal to H.E.  John Mahama, the President of Ghana through the Hon Minister of Transport to advocate for best road safety practices in the west African region as Chairman of Ecowas and to encourage his colleague Heads of States to raise the road safety profile in their countries and also grant WARSO an observer status in Ecowas to help facilitate the development and integration of road safety agenda”

Other activities planned to mark the day in Ghana include the raising of WARSO flags, photo exhibition of passenger related crashes and casualties at some major terminals and passenger empowerment education and promotion of the need for the Passenger manifest.

We wish to appeal and invite the diplomatic community to join in the observation of the WARSO day by reflection on ways to help improve upon the road safety situation in their respective countries so that together we can make road safety better in the West African sub-region.

Thank you.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei
The body of the deceased of the suicide case in Jukwa has been taken to the mortuary by the Ghana Police Service.
A young man believed to be 29 years, a National Service Personnel in Accra had committed suicide around Jukwa clinic.
According to an eye witness from the area Kate Okyere of Central Press College noted that the young man visited her girl friend and told her to go to the market to buy food stuff to prepare food for him, on her arrival from the market she saw him hanging in the room. That was around 2:30pm on Tuesday May 6, 2014.
Currently the girlfriend and other neighbours have reported to the Jukwa police station. Detail soon.

Suicide facts
  • Suicide is the act of purposely ending one's own life. How societies view suicide varies by culture, religion, ethnic norms, and the circumstances under which it occurs.
  • Nearly 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year -- about 30,000 each year in the United States.
  • Self-mutilation is the act of deliberately hurting oneself without meaning to cause one's own death.
  • Physician-assisted suicide is defined as a doctor ending the life of a person who is incurably ill in a way that is either painless or minimally painful for the purpose of ending the suffering of the individual.
  • The effects of suicide on the loved ones of the deceased can be devastating, resulting in suicide survivors enduring a variety of conflicting, painful emotions.
  • Life circumstances that may immediately precede a suicide include the time period of at least a week after discharge from a psychiatric hospital, a sudden change in how the person appears to feel, or a real or imagined loss.
  • Firearms are the most common means by which people take their lives. Other common methods include overdose of medication, asphyxiation, and hanging.
  • There are gender, age, ethnic, and geographical risk factors for suicide, as well as those based on family history, life stresses, and medical and mental-health status.
  • In children and teens, bullying and being bullied seem to be associated with committing suicide, and being bullied may put them at risk for committing murder-suicide.
  • Warning signs that an individual is imminently planning to kill him- or herself may include the making of a will, getting his/her affairs in order, suddenly visiting or writing letters to loved ones, buying instruments of suicide, experiencing a sudden change in mood, or writing a suicide note.
  • Many people who complete suicide do not tell any health professional of their intent in the months before they do so. If they communicate a plan to anyone, it is more likely to be a friend or family member.
  • The assessment of suicide risk often involves an evaluation of the presence, severity, and duration of suicidal thoughts as part of a mental-health evaluation.
  • Treatment of suicidal thinking or a suicide attempt involves adapting immediate treatment to the sufferer's individual needs. Those with a strong social support system, who have a history of being hopeful, and have a desire to resolve conflicts may need only a brief crisis-oriented intervention. Those with more severe symptoms or less social support may need hospitalization and long-term outpatient mental-health services.
  • Treatment of any underlying emotional problem using a combination of psychotherapy, safety planning, and medication remains the mainstay of suicide prevention.
  • People who are contemplating suicide are encouraged to talk to a doctor or other health professional, spiritual advisor, or immediately go to the closest emergency room or mental-health crisis center for help. Those who have experienced suicidal thinking are commonly directed to keep a list of people to call in the event that those thoughts return. Other strategies include having someone hold all medications to prevent overdose, removing any weapons from the home, scheduling frequent stress-relieving activities, getting together with others, writing down feelings, and avoiding the use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Techniques for coping with the suicide of a loved one include nutritious eating, getting extra rest, writing about their emotions, talking to others about the experience, thinking of ways to handle painful memories, understanding their state of mind will vary, resisting pressure to grieve by any one else's time table, and survivors doing what is right for them.
  • To help children and adolescents cope with the suicide of a loved one, it is important to ensure they receive consistent caretaking, frequent interaction with supportive peers and adults, and understanding of their feelings as they relate to their age. 
  • Source: Medical Author:

Thursday, May 1, 2014


By: Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei
Over 4000 miners in Ghana have been laid off from their work due to low international price for gold and high production cost.
The Secretary of Professional and Managerial Staff Union of Ghana Mine Worker Union, Mathani  Awuah disclosed this to Central Press during the May Day celebration in Cape Coast.
It was on the theme Ghana’s Economy: A concern for all. The President John Dramani Mahama assured workers that very soon the country’s economy will turn for the better. The Central Regional Minister E.K.T Addo read the speech for the President.
The President mentioned that Ghanaians and government “will remain allies working together for a common cause” and promised to improve the channels of communications “so that we may strengthen our collaboration.”
He however denied the assertion by the TUC that views expressed by organizations and individuals on the economy are treated with contempt stating that “they are treated with careful consideration.”