In order to improve the technological advancement of teachers in the twenty first (21st) century, the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the Pre-Tertiary Education Unions have reached a collective agreement to equip the Ghanaian teacher with the needed tools to enhance effective teaching and learning.
This agenda, the managers of the Ghana’s Education believe that, it is critical to developing the human capacity for work, innovation and creativity; necessary ingredients for capacity building.
Following the agreement, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on behalf of government launched and handed over some 350,000 laptops under the ‘One Teacher One Laptop’ programme to the GES and MoE in fulfilment of government’s pledge to equip Ghana’s teachers with the requisite ICT skills to prepare the next generation for the Fourth Industrial revolution.
This initiative, though has been widely welcomed by teachers, it appears that, most of them are not satisfied with the cost and specifications of the TM1 laptop procured by Government.
The teachers are worried and demanded some thoughts provocing answers in a tall list of questions asked. According to them, they need to know the exact cost, specifications, warranty, contract agreement, purpose of purchasing the laptops among many.
These questions keep the stakeholders in the Sector in dark shadows for many weeks until the National President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Mr. Eric Agbe-Carbonu breaks silence on the cost, payment schedule of the laptops among others.
In responding to the questions in a statement intercepted by Coverghana.com.gh, he has revealed that, “One Teacher One Laptop Project” is the intervention of the Three (3) Teacher Unions thus; the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNA), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH).
According to him,
1. That government will facilitate the acquisitions of the Laptops
2. That GES will ensure effective distribution of the Laptops 3. That there will be cost sharing as follows
a. Government paying 70%
b. Teacher paying 30%
4. That the Teacher’s 30% component will not be deducted from the Teacher’s salary but paid through the professional allowance allocations.
5. That the computers provided become the property of the individual teacher.
6. That the company KA Technology provide training and after sale service to the teachers.
Mr. Eric Agbe-Carbonu has detailed the break down of the payment schedule as agreed in their meeting. According to him, the total cost of the laptop is GH¢1,831.47, government will pay GH¢1,282.03 representing 70% while the teacher pays GH¢ 549.44 representing 30%.
The new cost of laptops quoted by the NAGRAT President put Ghanaian teachers across the country in a statement confusion since they were initially informed that, the cost of each laptop is GH¢1,550.00.
The Deputy Minister of Education Hon. Rev. John Ntim Fordjour in an interview with the renowned Citi News/FM Eyewitness journalist Mr. Umaru Sanda Amadu has disclosed the actual cost and specifications of the laptop, contrary to what was announced by the NAGRAT President Eric Agbe-Carbonu to teachers.
According to the Deputy Minister, the actual cost of the laptop is not GH¢1,831.47 but rather GH¢1,550.00 meanwhile, NAGRAT President communicated a different cost teachers.
Teachers said, it’s unclear as to whether NAGRAT President really participated in the collective bargaining of the laptop or there were truly a meeting to collectively agreed on the cost of the laptops due to the miscommunication from both parties. This has cast a dark shadow in the midst of teachers and the general public as to whether there have been a proper tendering processes for the procurement of laptops as key personalities and stakeholders put out different cost and specifications of the “One Teacher One Teacher Initiative”
The teachers said, the Minister’s latest revelation shows that, the Teacher Unions are not being truthful to their Members on the subject matter.
The teachers are still demanding from government to publish the exact cost of the procured laptops.
Meanwhile, Two other Teacher Unions have jointly petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the procurement of TMI laptops for teachers.
According to the two Teacher Unions thus: All Teachers Alliance Ghana and Innovative Teachers, it trite knowledge that manufacturing of electronic gadgets in large quantities makes the price per item very low.
In a petition signed by Christian Aidoo ( Secretary, All Teachers Alliance Ghana) and Albert Dadson (Secretary, Innovative Teachers) the cost of each laptop is purported to be GH¢1,550 (Communicated by the Deputy Minister of Education) and GH¢ GH¢1,831.47 (Communicated by NAGRAT President) suspect an inflation and extortion.
They believe that, a thorough investigation into the procurement will vindicate their position.
What are your thoughts on the subject matter? Drop your comments in the comment box below.
WATCH THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION’S INTERVIEW BELOW.