Reconstruction, 10-lane expansion of Accra-Tema Motorway to commence in March 2024

**Concerns Raised Over Possible Lack of Textbooks for Junior High School Students in Upcoming BECE** *Accra, January 3, 2024* - The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has expressed concerns regarding the potential lack of textbooks for Junior High School (JHS) students who will be sitting for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). As the curriculum shifted with the finalization of the Common Core curriculum by the government, Mr. Asare highlighted the need for timely provision of textbooks. Speaking on JoyFM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, Mr. Asare pointed out that the Common Core curriculum and the primary school curriculum did not reach finalization simultaneously. This, he noted, affects the availability of textbooks for JHS students using the Common Core curriculum. The first batch of students under the new curriculum is expected to take the BECE next year. Mr. Asare expressed concern that without efforts to provide textbooks between now and June, these students might be compelled to "write BECE without seeing any textbooks." One significant obstacle to the availability of textbooks, according to Mr. Asare, is an issue between publishers and the government. The publishers claim they have not been paid for their services, resulting in a considerable delay in producing the necessary textbooks. “When they were promised that the government was giving them 100% local content in the publication of textbooks, they were all happy, and they went and procured loans to print textbooks, and then they have not been paid. They owe about 90% of what they do,” explained Mr. Asare. Highlighting the financial strain on publishers, he underscored the significant investment required for textbook production. Mr. Asare emphasized that if publishers have not been paid, it implies that the textbooks are not ready, and the procurement process has not even started. Considering these challenges, Mr. Asare expressed skepticism about the availability of junior school textbooks between now and the next BECE, raising concerns about the potential impact on the students' academic preparation.

The extensive project of reconstructing and expanding the - Motorway officially commenced on Tuesday, covering a 19.5-kilometre stretch from the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout to the Tema roundabout.

The ambitious initiative features a 10-lane expansion, and Ghanaian-owned Maripoma Enterprise Limited has been entrusted with the supervision of this crucial infrastructure development.

The commencement was announced during a tour of ongoing road projects in Accra by the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah.

The minister and his team inspected the ongoing drainage projects in Tema Community 11 and 12, in addition to the expansion project of the Tema Motorway.

Minister Amoako-Attah highlighted the significance of the project, describing it as the first phase of the broader expansion initiative.

He detailed that the subsequent phases would encompass the stretches from Tetteh Quarshie to Apenkwa and from Apenkwa to Neoplan.

The Minister called on institutions with billboards on the road to promptly remove them. Anticipating a transformative year for road infrastructure, he promised the commissioning of completed projects in 2024.

Expressing satisfaction with ongoing drainage work in communities 11 and 12, the Minister commended the contractors for their commendable progress.

However, he stressed the importance of contractors engaging with the community before initiating projects to ensure residents' cooperation, acknowledging that construction projects can inconvenience locals.

The Minister advised contractors to prioritize quality work, emphasizing that any substandard construction would face legal consequences.

He urged contractors to recognize the national interest and deliver excellence, emphasizing the importance of value for money.

Regarding the completion of the Tema bridge, Minister Amoako-Attah confirmed its readiness, highlighting the successful completion of 50 such bridges across the country.

Kingsley Attafuah, Technical Director of Raceg Construction Limited, the contractor responsible for the Tema drainage system, provided an update.

He revealed that work began in July 2023, with 80 percent of the project already completed.

Assuring Ghanaians of adherence to the schedule, Attafuah stated that road construction is set to commence in March 2024 following the completion of the drainage system.

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