There was a leaked document alleging that, the three major Teacher Unions namely the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) have signed a “thievery” laptop deal thus; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards the procurement of One Teacher One Laptop Project.
In responding to the allegations, the leaderships of the three Teacher Unions Philippa Larsen – National President of GNAT, Thomas Tanko Musah – General Secretary of GNAT, Angel Cabonu – President of NAGRAT and King Ali Awudu – President of CCT-GH have confirmed the document (Memorandum of Understanding) in circulation.
Speaking at a press conference to address concerns raised by teachers on the subject matter, the Teacher Unions said, they have signed the laptop contract as a sign of commitment that Government will fulfil its promise to teachers.
At the press briefing in letting the whole world know their side of the story, following the rumpus that has risen over the One Teacher, One Laptop project, the Teacher Unions said, the 30% deduction was made from Teachers Professional Development Allowance and not teachers salary.
The Unions said, it could be recalled that H.E. President of The Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 2021 State of the Nation address acknowledged the teacher as the centre of every reform in the field of education. He then announced that Government was facilitating the acquisition of two hundred and eighty thousand (280,000) laptops for teachers.
MANDATE OF THE TEACHER UNIONS
The Teacher Unions explained that, before this anouncement, the Ghana National Association at its September 2020 Launch of its Research work the Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on the Education Sector in Ghana: The Perspectives of GNAT, advocated for the One Teacher One Laptop.
“This advocacy was laid before the National Council of GNAT at its annual general meeting between 30th September – 3rd October, 2020, at Kumasi, and was adopted and subsequently included in the Communique which asked Government to expedite action on the One Teacher, One Laptop project, to enhance efficient delivery in the classroom.”
NAGRAT and CCT-GH, had also engaged their Councils on the One Teacher, One laptop project.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU)
Following this, the three Teacher Unions (GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT-GH) discussed how they could strive for the project, with a Collective Voice. From this point, the Teacher Unions continued their engagement with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES), on the subject matter.
“This led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a sign of commitment that Government will fulfil its promise to teachers.”
Subsequently, Messrs K.A. Technologies Limited was recommended to the Ministry of Education in their consideration of suppliers for the One Teacher, One Laptop project which was included in the MOU.
COST OF THE LAPTOP
Initially, the Teacher Unions advocated for the full cost of the laptops to be borne by the Government of Ghana. However, upon several days of negotiations and deliberations, Government agreed to bear 70% of the Cost and the Members 30%.
This was for the supply of Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand (280,000) laptops as well as provision of technical support, maintenance, training and equipping pre tertiary teachers to provide virtual teaching and learning for their students.
The Unit Cost of the Laptop was GH¢1550 with the 30% component of the teacher to be paid from the annual Continuous Professional Development Allowance.
“This was our level of involvement in the One Teacher, One Laptop project. The rest of the processes of procurement, award of contract, financing and distribution were done by the Ministry of Education and the GES.” Teacher Unions revealed.
MANDATE OF THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
This done, the Ministry of Education proceeded to the Public Procurement Authority to request for Approval to use single source to engage supplier for the supply of Laptop Computers for Pre-tertiary Teacher Unions across the Country.
The Unions disclosed that, this was per a letter Ref.FA1010/331/01, dated 17th November, 2020, to which approval was granted, vide the Public Procurement Authority’s letter, Ref. PPA/CEO/11/2996/20, dated November, 2020, signed by Frank Mante, Ag. Chief Executive and addressed to the Hon. Minister, Ministry of Education, Accra.
AWARD OF CONTRACT
On 25th November, 2020, the Minister of Education, signed a letter captioned “Notification of Award of Contract for the Supply of Laptop Computers for Pre tertiary Teacher Unions Across the Country”, Ref. FA101/331/01 by the Ministry of Education, IFT NO GR/MOE/GD/SS/0050/2020, addressed to the supplier.
Furtherance to this, the contract was signed on 21st December, 2020 between the Ministry of Education and KA Technologies, with the Chief Director, Ministry Education signing for and on behalf of the Ministry.
On 11th February, 2021, a Laptop Computer Pre-financing Agreement was entered into between the Ghana Education Service (Acting on Behalf of the Ministry of Education) and the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS).
THE CHANGE OF PRICE
“We wish to state that per the pre-financing agreement between GES and GESOPS the cost per teacher is GH¢549.44 as a result of the 18.16% interests rate on the GH 465.00” the Teacher Unions added.
According to them, the price further reduced to GH¢ 509.00 due to the intervention of the Unions and Minister of Education, who indicated the 18.16% cannot be charged on the entire 30% (GH¢ 465) portion of the Teacher.
Thereafter, the Ghana Education Service, in a letter to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, stated that the 30% of the cost of the laptop (worked) up to Five Hundred and Nine Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 509.00).
The presumption was that this statement by the GES was on behalf of the Ministry of Education.
The Union again said, in the light of the above and recognizing the pressures on the Ghanaian teacher, leadership is appealing to Government through the Ministry of Education to absorb the interest charges on the 30% that had accrued from the GESOPS pre-financing.
“We again demand from the GES to ensure that by close of day Friday, 31″ December 2021, all teachers deducted monies for the laptops would be supplied the said laptops.”
Below is the full statement issued by the Teacher Unions.