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Govt Spends GH¢160m On Wards Of 'Party Cronies' To Study

Postby Pax Africana » Thu May 24, 2012 7:21 pm

Government is spending GH¢160,510,000 on selected children and wards of ‘party cronies’ to study medicine in Cuba.

The 250-student delegation left Ghana last Monday, May 21, 2012 to begin the 6-year course under the new medical cooperation agreement between Ghana and Cuba.

The Cuban government is paying nothing but rather the Ghana government taking all the costs involved, totalling GH¢160 million in a deal brokered by Vice President John Mahama.

The criteria for the selection of the candidates and the cost involved have raised questions.

In spite of the fact that government has kept details of the programme under wraps, DAILY GUIDE has stumbled on copies of documents covering the deal.

In all, the Presidency, Ministers and the Scholarships Secretariat itself, were made to submit a ‘protocol’ list of 138 individuals whilst the Office of the Vice President and that of the National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (Rtd), increased the number with a supplementary list of 41 names.

All 10 regional caucus chairmen of the ruling NDCs were equally given concessions to submit a list of party faithful for consideration as well as ministers and their surrogates.

The regional distribution of the largesse clearly ignored indigenes of the Ashanti Region with Akan names absent. Those who were considered for the largesse in the Ashanti Region bear Islamic names, suggesting that northerners living in the region were considered in favour of their Akan counterparts in a clear case of regional imbalance.

This showed that the selection was tainted with political consideration and cronyism.

Some had their names under various caucuses in the selection criteria to boost their chances.

In a ‘secret’ cabinet memo from former Health Minister, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, dated August 18, 2011, which was approved by Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, he sought to justify the amount being spent on the training of 250 individuals relating to its relevance to the current doctor-patient ratio in Ghana which stands at 1:11,500.

For this reason, he explained that “majority of the populace does not have ready access to the services of a doctor.”

He pegged the cost of training a Senior High School (SHS) graduate as medical officer in Cuba at Cuc30, 750.00, the equivalent of GH¢50, 660.12 a year.

It would therefore cost the nation GH¢10, 132, 024.00 to train 200 students to read medicine in Cuba each year and GH¢60, 792, 144.00 for the next 6 years that they are scheduled to be there, whilst an amount of GH¢48,189.12 would be spent on another 50 students per annum to receive specialist training in that country.

This works out to GH¢2,409, 456, making the total budget for the 4-year period that they would undergo the specialist training an amount of GH¢9, 637, 824.00 whilst the budget for the basic training of doctors and specialists is GH¢74,344, 960.00 for the period under review.

For the first year, 2012, government is expected to cough up an amount of GH¢14, 498, 960 whilst the total cost of budget for the services of the 300 Cuban doctors who are currently in Ghana involves GH¢14, 360, 850.00 per annum.

Each of these Cuban doctors in Ghana is being maintained at a cost of well over GH¢48,000 per annum including a return air-ticket (economy class) each for annual leave, travel allowance, free meals, free accommodation, transport to work, utility charges, cost of participation in annual scientific seminar etc.

Checks by DAILY GUIDE have established that this exclusive privilege to the ordinary Cuban medical doctor in Ghana is not available to the Ghanaian medical consultant (specialist) let alone the house officer.

These developments come in the wake of unsettled salary grievances and hospital infrastructure problems at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

The cost involved in training a medical student at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) currently stands at GH¢700.00 per annum for regular students and GH¢3, 000 for the fee-paying students.

With the problem of inadequate infrastructure in the country’s medical schools remaining unresolved and parents’ continuous worry over the fact that their wards cannot get access to medical education in Ghana, some pundits have suggested that the money being pumped into Cuba could have otherwise been used to resource the country’s medical schools to increase the enrolment.

Some people believe that 250 students can be absorbed by one of the country’s public medical schools if half of the money was given to them to upgrade their facilities.
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Re: Govt Spends GH¢160m On Wards Of 'Party Cronies' To Study

Postby Oseadeeyo Yaw Temeng » Thu May 24, 2012 8:19 pm

Pax Africana wrote:Government is spending GH¢160,510,000 on selected children and wards of ‘party cronies’ to study medicine in Cuba.

The 250-student delegation left Ghana last Monday, May 21, 2012 to begin the 6-year course under the new medical cooperation agreement between Ghana and Cuba.

The Cuban government is paying nothing but rather the Ghana government taking all the costs involved, totalling GH¢160 million in a deal brokered by Vice President John Mahama.

The criteria for the selection of the candidates and the cost involved have raised questions.

In spite of the fact that government has kept details of the programme under wraps, DAILY GUIDE has stumbled on copies of documents covering the deal.

In all, the Presidency, Ministers and the Scholarships Secretariat itself, were made to submit a ‘protocol’ list of 138 individuals whilst the Office of the Vice President and that of the National Security Coordinator, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (Rtd), increased the number with a supplementary list of 41 names.

All 10 regional caucus chairmen of the ruling NDCs were equally given concessions to submit a list of party faithful for consideration as well as ministers and their surrogates.

The regional distribution of the largesse clearly ignored indigenes of the Ashanti Region with Akan names absent. Those who were considered for the largesse in the Ashanti Region bear Islamic names, suggesting that northerners living in the region were considered in favour of their Akan counterparts in a clear case of regional imbalance.

This showed that the selection was tainted with political consideration and cronyism.

Some had their names under various caucuses in the selection criteria to boost their chances.

In a ‘secret’ cabinet memo from former Health Minister, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, dated August 18, 2011, which was approved by Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, he sought to justify the amount being spent on the training of 250 individuals relating to its relevance to the current doctor-patient ratio in Ghana which stands at 1:11,500.

For this reason, he explained that “majority of the populace does not have ready access to the services of a doctor.”

He pegged the cost of training a Senior High School (SHS) graduate as medical officer in Cuba at Cuc30, 750.00, the equivalent of GH¢50, 660.12 a year.

It would therefore cost the nation GH¢10, 132, 024.00 to train 200 students to read medicine in Cuba each year and GH¢60, 792, 144.00 for the next 6 years that they are scheduled to be there, whilst an amount of GH¢48,189.12 would be spent on another 50 students per annum to receive specialist training in that country.

This works out to GH¢2,409, 456, making the total budget for the 4-year period that they would undergo the specialist training an amount of GH¢9, 637, 824.00 whilst the budget for the basic training of doctors and specialists is GH¢74,344, 960.00 for the period under review.

For the first year, 2012, government is expected to cough up an amount of GH¢14, 498, 960 whilst the total cost of budget for the services of the 300 Cuban doctors who are currently in Ghana involves GH¢14, 360, 850.00 per annum.

Each of these Cuban doctors in Ghana is being maintained at a cost of well over GH¢48,000 per annum including a return air-ticket (economy class) each for annual leave, travel allowance, free meals, free accommodation, transport to work, utility charges, cost of participation in annual scientific seminar etc.

Checks by DAILY GUIDE have established that this exclusive privilege to the ordinary Cuban medical doctor in Ghana is not available to the Ghanaian medical consultant (specialist) let alone the house officer.

These developments come in the wake of unsettled salary grievances and hospital infrastructure problems at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

The cost involved in training a medical student at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) currently stands at GH¢700.00 per annum for regular students and GH¢3, 000 for the fee-paying students.

With the problem of inadequate infrastructure in the country’s medical schools remaining unresolved and parents’ continuous worry over the fact that their wards cannot get access to medical education in Ghana, some pundits have suggested that the money being pumped into Cuba could have otherwise been used to resource the country’s medical schools to increase the enrolment.

Some people believe that 250 students can be absorbed by one of the country’s public medical schools if half of the money was given to them to upgrade their facilities.
what is your own opinion about this ?
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Re: Govt Spends GH¢160m On Wards Of 'Party Cronies' To Study

Postby Pax Africana » Thu May 24, 2012 11:39 pm

Oseadeeyo Yaw Temeng wrote:what is your own opinion about this ?



We've been doing it since before Nkrumah and I think we need to evaluate if its serving us well us a policy. Singling distributional equity out, (which is my main gripe here), another approach would be to use a fraction of these funds to attract technical talent from abroad to teach in our schools and universities. We'd probably impact more lives that way but the tight rope we'd have to walk is in censorship.

I'm not against the principle of sending "our best" elsewhere to acquire knowledge to "spark" our economy up. A nation on our "budget" probably does need to resort to "natural selection" to an extent. But where the grim statistic that we probably lose 50% (I'm guessing here) of scholarship beneficiaries to other economies is compounded by a lack of transparency, we should pull the whole scholarship system apart and rethink it.
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Postby Dr Vyrus » Fri May 25, 2012 9:41 am

Training 200 senior high school graduates for a period of six years at the KNUST Medical School would amount to GH¢6 million but NDC decides to train them in Cuba for GH¢60 million. The GH¢60mn that is being used to train 200 SHS student could have trained 2000 SHS students in Ghana or better still improve on our facilties here to accomodate more students. in the supreme interest of Ghana, Prof Mills should stop this move
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Postby *STOMP* » Fri May 25, 2012 2:15 pm

The vice prezzo is really making a name for himself. Every day for thief-man one day for master. Sands of time never stay at one place :D :D :D :D
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Postby Pax Africana » Sun May 27, 2012 9:38 am

Thirty Ghanaian German-trained experts have benefited from an entrepreneurship programme organised by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).

Known as the, ‘Returning Experts Programme,’ the initiative is to ensure that Ghanaians who had their professional training in Germany were empowered to set up businesses in Ghana irrespective of their field of study.

As part of the programmes which is under the auspices of the German Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) and Federal

Employment Agency, the CIM supplies experts still living in Germany but interested in returning to Ghana with information about opportunities on job markets in Ghana.

Some of the students who decide to set up their own businesses after the period also receive some form of start-up capital from the programme.

Those who return home with the sole aim to set up, receive start-up capital of about 10,000 Euros and beyond.

Students upon completion of their studies, either through scholarship or personal investments, can apply to the programme which provides their transportation back home and offers them job placements in the areas of agriculture, decentralisation and good financial governance and economic cooperation.

Students on job placements are given salary top ups by the programme monthly for two years.

Aside this, their host companies or institutions receive equipments from the programme which upon completion of the students’ work, become the property of the institution.

Addressing this year’s beneficiaries at a workshop in Accra, Mr Konrad De Bortoli, the Deputy Director GIZG-Ghana in charge of Human Resource, noted that the programme had been useful in ensuring that the returnees came back to Ghana to put their expertise at the disposal of the country.

“We are happy that this programme is making a lot of impact. There is no better way than to allow people to return to their home country at their own will to contribute their quota to their country’s development.”

For his past, Mr David Tette, Advisor and Coordinator for the Centre for International Migration and Development Programme in Ghana, discredited the notion that the programme is intended to send home African migrants in Germany, explaining that people are not forced to enrol on the programme to return home.

He said the programme is meant to give a positive perception of African migrants by converting what is commonly known as ‘brain drain’into ‘brain gain.’

A beneficiary of the programme, Ms Afua Antwiwaa Abasa, told the Daily Graphic that the entrepreneurship training programme would be very beneficial.

“Most of the courses we study in Germany are technical in nature. By adding entrepreneurship training from here, we are being empowered not only to create jobs for ourselves but for others as well” she added.

Over the past 30 years, more than 14,000 managers and technical experts working in CIM’s Integrated Experts and Returning Experts programmes have passed on their know-how to organisations in over 90 countries around the world.

In Ghana, about 450 experts have received support from the programme and making strides.

Two companies that have emerged from the programme in Ghana are B-Bovid Limited, an agricultural company, set up by a German-trained Ghanaian and Torkonoo and Associates, a consulting firm.

The programme operates in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and has so far benefited over 10,000 people globally since its inception in 1994.



Food for thought... :idea:
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Postby truemamamia » Mon May 28, 2012 12:45 pm

In a ‘secret’ cabinet memo from former Health Minister, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, dated August 18, 2011, which was approved by Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, he sought to justify the amount being spent on the training of 250 individuals relating to its relevance to the current doctor-patient ratio in Ghana which stands at 1:11,500.

For this reason, he explained that “majority of the populace does not have ready access to the services of a doctor.”

He pegged the cost of training a Senior High School (SHS) graduate as medical officer in Cuba at Cuc30, 750.00, the equivalent of GH¢50, 660.12 a year.


lol I dont believe this story. Medical School education in Cuba is free. If this article is true...the students could only be headed to ELAM where tuition is free, free dormitory, uniforms and they receive a stipend from the Cuban govt. In the past the scholarship secretariat from Ghana also sent something to the students....(most atimes they dont see the money :lol: ) So so corruption.

In theory its a good deal for Ghana. However there are two fundamental problems with this scheme
1. A lot of them will not go back
2. Out of the number that go back....majority will be frustrated and only a percentage will be absorbed into the Ghanaian system.
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Postby Ameys » Mon May 28, 2012 1:35 pm

@truemamia is medical school free for student who are studying there or free to the government that is sponsoring them.? I just need some clarity here!!!!!
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Postby truemamamia » Mon May 28, 2012 1:45 pm

And also the part about party cronnies makes me laugh :lol: :lol: . It reminds me of my own experience some years back.

I applied for this same scholarship and I was never called for an interview. So so party cronnies were selected. And the funniest part was when I applied to the Russian version. I arrived at the Secretariat quite naive(with my application and SSCE grades in a file)

The guy in charge sized me up from head to toe and asked me what I was doing there.And me so confident...replied....I wanna go to Russia. And he started laughing in my face and I asked why? And he asked me: " is your father dead or something? No Uncle? And my naive reply was: my dad couldnt come.

And he said "Dont worry u can leave your application here". When he took my application....he threw it into a pile of applications....there and there I felt it...I knew that the committee was never gonna see my application. :lol: :lol:

Cheii me too I suffer come pass oooh. Every single scholarship I applied through the Scholarship secretariat was bounced and a lot of my friends with inferior grades were always selected. Nowadays I just look back and laugh....it was not easy kwraaa :P
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Postby truemamamia » Mon May 28, 2012 1:59 pm

Ameys wrote:@truemamia is medical school free for student who are studying there or free to the government that is sponsoring them.? I just need some clarity here!!!!!


Medical schools are free in Cuba. Cuba has this bilateral relationship with countries all over the world whereby they admit students to one of the biggest med schools in the world-ELAM...google it up. Just for u to have an idea even American minorities get selected under the same program....and they pay nada. Free tuition,housing etc and the Cuban govt gives them something too. What the foreign govt pays for are flights in and out(?) and stipends if they choose to. The whole thing serves as a political tool for the Cuban govt so anybody who claims 50K is being spent to train somebody in Cuba....is throwing dust into your eyes....whether government or the reporter.
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Postby Dr Vyrus » Mon May 28, 2012 2:12 pm

Ameys wrote:@truemamia is medical school free for student who are studying there or free to the government that is sponsoring them.? I just need some clarity here!!!!!
I was about to say something but I stopped you know my view on this sceam
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Postby kebashorificatious » Tue May 29, 2012 9:25 am

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Postby Ameys » Tue May 29, 2012 6:51 pm

truemamamia wrote:
Ameys wrote:@truemamia is medical school free for student who are studying there or free to the government that is sponsoring them.? I just need some clarity here!!!!!


Medical schools are free in Cuba. Cuba has this bilateral relationship with countries all over the world whereby they admit students to one of the biggest med schools in the world-ELAM...google it up. Just for u to have an idea even American minorities get selected under the same program....and they pay nada. Free tuition,housing etc and the Cuban govt gives them something too. What the foreign govt pays for are flights in and out(?) and stipends if they choose to. The whole thing serves as a political tool for the Cuban govt so anybody who claims 50K is being spent to train somebody in Cuba....is throwing dust into your eyes....whether government or the reporter.


So as we know it today from Cuban govt website, the govt of Ghana is supposedto pay nada.So who is pocketing this 160 m. Another gargantuan payment??
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Postby Pax Africana » Wed May 30, 2012 10:18 am

In a fascinating twist to the simmering feud between the GETFund and the Education Ministry, Joy News has intercepted several documents authored by the administrator claiming government was diverting GETFund monies.

The documents detail a whopping 94 million cedis in unpaid claims.

Mr. Sam Garba in a letter dated 24th February 2012 stated categorically that the fund will not release scholarships for selected students, defying the orders of the education ministry.

In a 17 January 2012 letter to the Ministry of Finance, a copy of which was intercepted by Joy FM, the GETFund boss raised issues about monies which ought to be paid into the GETFund account but which were not.

According to him, from 2009-2011, only ¢471 million have been paid into the account stating a total of 414 million more which ought to be paid into the account has not been done.

“Only 50 per cent of the accruals have been paid into the account of the GETFund at the end of each fiscal year," Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh quoted portions of the letter as saying.

The GETFund boss said the rules which underpinned the establishment of GETFund are not being followed.

Mr Garba said the Fund has issued promissory notes to the tune of ¢94 million for payment to contractors who were hired under the schools under trees project but has not been able to redeem the promise because only half of the money they are entitled to are paid into their account.

The result he said has been the persistent threat of demonstration by the contractors.

Mr Garba said because of the paucity of funds they are unable to pay for the scholarships of some selected students by the Education Ministry.

But the Education Minister has dismissed the claims by the GETFund boss.

Lee Ocran said Mr Garba failed to alert the supervisory ministry which is the Education Ministry of the challenges it is facing before proceeding to the Finance Ministry.

He said the GETFund boss has no authority to question a directive by cabinet for monies to be paid into the scholarship scheme to facilitate the scholarship education of some students.



:oops:
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Postby paabo » Wed May 30, 2012 10:50 am

[AFAG: Huge ? Marks On Gov't Sponsored Education To Cuba


Ladies & gentlemen of the press, good morning and welcome to another important national issue of accountable governance being raised by AFAG today.

AFAG wishes to precede our statement today with Article 35 clause 6a of our 1992 constitution under the Directive Principle of State Policy

With a heavy heart today, and recognizing how dangerously divisive the subject of our press conference is, AFAG is worried about the most blatant discrimination by the sitting vice-president.

Ladies & gentlemen, last week, the country witnessed the sending off dinner of 250 Ghanaian students (hosted by the vice president John Mahama) to Cuba for six years of medical training at the cost Gh ₵ 50,000 per year. By simple arithmetic, this puts the total cost for the entire program at an astronomical GHC 160 million. It should however be stated that with superior infrastructure and training than what currently pertains in Cuba, the cost of training a medical doctor for the entire period of study is GHC20,000.

This means the total cost of training the 250 students here in Ghana would be GHC5.0million. This, ladies and gentlemen, translates into huge savings of Gh₵ 155 million.

The amount saved, AFAG strongly believes, could be channeled in resourcing both the Volta and Brong Ahafo Universities which have only been given a seed money of GH₵ 5million, pay polytechnic teachers, who are on strike, or use to expand the medical school facilities in four public universities currently offering medical training for future doctors.

To this end AFAG is vehemently opposed to this deal as it only further exposes the Mills-Mahama government to have its priorities wrong and completely out of touch with what is in the national interest.

Background of the current Deal

Ladies and gentlemen, the point should be made, that training of persons in Cuba is not new to us as a country. However, when the program began under PNDC Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, in 1983, it had no cost implication to the Ghanaian taxpayer and Ghana had not developed the kind of training infrastructure currently available.

AFAG will therefore want you (the media) to join us in asking the questions, what has changed for today, a government that claims to be the offspring of the PNDC, to be today throwing scarce cash to a programme that can be done at least four times cheaper here in Ghana? But, this has been the stock in trade of the Mills-Mahama led NDC. They are quick, at the drop of the umbrella, to ignore what is Ghanaian in favor of what is foreign, whether it is Korea, South Africa, China or Cuba.

In this case, what has changed is that, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, under a Revised Cuban Agreement during his April 2011 trip to Cuba brokered this obnoxious deal on behalf of Ghana contrary to what is reported on the official website of the Cuban embassy in Ghana. And we quote some portions of the bilateral relations relative to the scholarship agreement.

It states;

‘under the agreements, the Cuban government will provide scholarship for all the 250 students who were selected from deprived communities throughout the country and would be ready to come back to serve their communities…’

Scholarship Distribution

Ladies and Gentlemen, the cost implication of the Revised Cuban Agreement is worrying and dangerous to the unity and harmony of this multi-ethnic state and more worrying is the level of discrimination that has been deliberately applied in the selection of students for this scholarship programme to Cuba.

Our random checks of the names show that, not a single one of those selected was considered on political party basis. The names were forensically screened to avoid anyone connected to the Opposition.

But, that is not all. Our greatest concern is to with the regional distributions upon which the applicants were selected across the country. According to official documents available to AFAG, of the 250 Ghanaians selected, a total of number of 122 was allocated to the 10 regions, whiles another 179 was distributed amongst the office of the president, vice president, national security and the scholarship secretariat.


The regional distribution is as shown in the table below;


Region Scholarship Awards

Ashanti 6

Eastern 7

Central 12

Volta 10

Gt. Accra 17

Brong Ahafo 9

Northern 10

Western 18

Upper West 12

Upper East 21

Again, of the remaining 138 beneficiaries on the protocol list of the vice president/scholarship secretariat/min of health, only 27(19.5%) persons were Akans and other southern tribes. Akans make up about half of the national population.

Ladies and gentlemen, the vice president on behalf of the Mills-Mahama administration has several questions to answer.

Questions:

1. What criteria were used in selecting the beneficiaries?

2. AFAG wishes to know the membership of the selection panel?

3. Is the scholarship secretariat, under President Mills and Vice President Mahama, pursuing an ulterior agenda as witnessed in Dundee University in the selection of applicants for Oil & Gas courses?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we expect the Vice President to respond to these questions as you take note of unprecedented bias in the award of scholarship to Ghanaian youth to study in Cuba and beyond. We do not want the wrong signals to be sent.

We are extremely worried. Thanks.



Source: Signed: Abu Ramadan 0244570006 Arnold Boateng 0244294754 Zalia Seidu 0262481240 Henry Haruna Asante 0248274646 Bright Acheampong 0545230621
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Gov borrows $75m to save BECE results

Postby Pax Africana » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:56 pm

Government has secured about 75 million dollars from Global Partnership on Education to help resolve poor performance in certain districts in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

This move is among a series of interventions to haut the poor performance recorded in the BECE examination. Deputy Minister of Education Mahama Ayariga disclosed this on the floor of Parliament when he appeared before the house to answer questions on what the government is doing to breach the education gab between rural and urban schools in Ghana.

The Deputy Minister of Education further indicated that analyses of the regions and districts that have performed poorly are underway in order to tackle their needs urgently.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Sekondi Papa Owusu Ankomah is asking the education ministry to ensure that some targets are set to breach the gap between the urban and rural areas in terms of performance.






How is it we already know how much is needed (and have already borrowed it) before we've completed any needs analysis??? :? :oops: :lol:


Y'en hwe biribi yie ooo... :idea:
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