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The Institute of Continuing and Distance Education (ICDE) of the University of Ghana on Thursday launched the 65th Annual New Year School and Conference in Accra.

The New Year School and Conference which begins on January 6th to 10th, 2014, is on the general theme ?Information and Communication Technology ? Driven Education for Sustainable Human Development: Challenges and Prospects?.

Speaking at the launch Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, Minister for Communications noted that the New Year School since its establishment in 1948 had contributed immensely towards the socio-economic development of the country.

He said the Institute had survived under many regimes from the Gold Coast era to post independent and had being able to withstand military adventurism.

The Minister said the theme for next year?s New Year School was appropriate to the national development agenda.

He said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was becoming increasingly the basis for the socio-economic development of the country.

He said government recognized the role of ICT and was poise to ensure that the economy was driven through it.

Dr Omane-Boamah said work was progressing steadily on 600 kilometres fibre-optic network line from Ho to Bawku of which 103 km had so far been completed to help boast telecommunication in the country.

He noted that government was upgrading ICT projects at both the tertiary and pre-tertiary levels to aid learning in the various institutions.

He said as part of government?s efforts to boast good governance, Members of Parliament would be supported with e-programmes to enhance their work, adding that government would strengthen the e-justice system to facilitate the work of the judiciary.

Dr Omane-Boamah said there was the need to pay attention to the development of local ICT education content, and that some local companies were doing very well in it.

On cybercrime, the Minister said government had instituted measures to collaborate with international institutions to curb it in the country.

Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, ICDE Director said after 65 years of existence, the New Year School had had to undergo some changes.

He explained that instead of having an annual theme, there would be a theme for deliberations over the next five years, declaring that under the current theme, areas such as e-health, e-agriculture, among others would be vigorously pursued with the next five or six years.

Prof Oheneba-Sakyi said the New School seeks to provide a platform for sharing information on important national issues; at the end of which a communiqu? was issued to guide national policy makers.

He said as stakeholders and shareholders they believe that in enhancing the prospects of Ghana, the educational skills of the people had to be sharpened through ICT.

The dignitaries that graced the occasion include Alhaji Mohammed Nurudeen Issahaq, Acting Director Editorials, Ghana News Agency, Mr Paul Krampah, Director of Public Affairs of the Ministry of Education, among others.

Source: GNA

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