An IT expert, avid politician and Cyber Security Consultant Mr. Yayra Koku has cautioned Ghanaian teachers against the government’s “One Teacher One Laptop Initiative”.
According to him, the Mate 1 TM1 laptop the New Patriotic Party government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ghana Education Service (GES) intend to distribute to teachers are ‘scraps’ and must not be patronized.
Mr. Yayra Koku disclosed that, Intel Celeron is the second least powerful processor that Intel makes. Giving a further explanation on the generation of the laptop brand, he said, this is the hierarchy: Atom, Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5, i7, Xeon.
As an IT expert who has indepth knowledge on Technology and IT related issues, he feels so much worried and disappointed in government for resorting to such a low brand of laptops for respected Ghanaian teachers at a higher cost.
He described the Mate 1 TM1 laptops product by KA Technologies as scraps and bombs with reference to the specifications and its exorbitant cost.
In view of this, he admonishes all Pre-Tertiary Teachers to swiftly reject the laptop and take their money to purchase a high quality laptop for themselves if government insists of giving out the Mate 1 TM1 laptops.
He added that, if teachers go for the Mate 1 TM1 laptops, they can’t use it after a year. According to him, the laptop will be extremely slow.
“I’m told this is the specs of the TM1 laptop government is getting for teachers. Please if you are a teacher reject it and go for your money. This is a BOMB. Reject it and look for your laptop to buy because you can’t use it after a year. It will be EXTREMELY SLOW. At least get them i3 mpo. So why get the least for teachers for 1,831.45 and ask them to pay over 500cedis?” He said.
LAUNCHING OF THE MATE 1 TM1 LAPTOPS
On Friday, September 3, 2021, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at a brief but colourful ceremony at the campus of the St Mary’s Senior High School launched and handed over 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.
The distribution of the laptops begin with teachers of St Mary’s Senior High School.
COST OF LAPTOP
Earlier, teachers were told that, the cost of each laptop is GH¢1,550.00. Few days after the launching ceremony, the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Mr. Angel Eric Agbe-Carbonu, in a press statement disclosed another whopping cost of the laptop.
He added that, the total cost of the laptop is GH¢1,831.47 representing 100%, government will pay GH¢1,282.03 representing 70% while the teacher pays GH¢ 549.44 representing 30%
Surprisingly, the Deputy Minister of Education Hon. Rev. John Ntim Fordjour in an interview with the Citi News/FM Eyewitness journalist Mr. Umaru Sanda Amadu has announced a different cost 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 GH¢1,550.00.
Few days after the public uproar, the Ghana Education Service in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer Madam Cassandra Twum Ampofo said, the cost of the laptop is GH¢1,831.47 contrary to what was disclosed by the Deputy Minister of Education.
The miscommunications around the cost of the laptop made teachers and other teacher union to raise red flag, and vowed not to take the laptop.
REACTIONS FROM SOME TEACHERS AND OTHER TEACHER UNIONS
Earlier, the Innovative Teachers (IT) Informed Teachers Network (ITN) and All Teachers Alliance, Ghana (ATAG) among others have raised alarm over the procurement of laptops for teachers without following due processes.
They called on their members to reject the laptop because, it is of low quality and does not merit the cost as announced.
Majority of the teachers, upon realizing the nature of the laptops vowed to reject it. This came following the pronouncement of conflicting cost of the laptop and its low specifications.
Some teachers believe that, the 21st century teacher needs laptops but looking at the brand, cost, specifications, cost sharing payment modalities and compulsory nature of distribution and deductions; they see it to be an abuse and disrespect to them.
According to them, the only way to send a strong message for GES and MoE to stop treating them like kids is to reject the laptops. “If they deduct a penny from our Professional Development Allowances (PDA) without our authorization, we shall test the law.” The said.
PETITION OVER “ONE TEACHER ONE LAPTOP”
Two Teacher Unions thus; All Teachers Alliance Ghana and Innovative Teachers have jointly petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the procurement of Mate 1 TMI laptops for teachers.
In a petition signed by Christian Aidoo ( Secretary, All Teachers Alliance Ghana) and Albert Dadson (Secretary, Innovative Teachers) the cost of each laptop is exorbitant, hence suspect corrupt activities in contract deal.
“We write this petition pursuant to article 218(a) (e) of the 1992 constitution and section 7(1) (a) of CHRAJ Act for CHRAJ to investigate the procurement of laptops by the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service” Part of the petition said.
In connection with the above concerns, an IT expert, Mr. Yayra Koku has cautioned Ghanaian Pre-Tertiary teachers to reject the Mate 1 TM1 laptops.