The Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN), a youth wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has described the government’s One Teacher, One Laptop initiative as a plot to steal from the people.
Deputy National TEIN Coordinator, Ekow Djan, in statement on the cost involved in the whole exercise said it smacks of thievery.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, launched and handed over 350,000 laptops under the ‘One Teacher One Laptop’ programme 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.
At a brief but colourful ceremony at the campus of the St Mary’s Senior High School, Accra on Friday 3rd September, 2021 Dr Bawumia, assisted by the Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa; and the leadership of Teacher Unions, handed over the first of these laptops, known as the TM1 (Teachers Mate 1) to the 71 teachers of the school.
“Effective teaching and learning is critical to developing the human capacity for work, innovation and creativity; necessary ingredients for capacity building. Teachers are the indispensable pillars to this necessary capacity building. This initiative, in collaboration with the Teacher Unions, is to support the vision of the Ghana Education Service of creating an enabling environment to facilitate effective teaching and learning” Dr Bawumia stated.
Under the initiative, Government is to provide every teacher in Ghana, from Kindergarten to the Senior High School level, with a laptop preloaded with educational materials and with access to an E-Library equipped with books recommended by the GES on the various subjects. The materials can be accessed whether online or offline, and with free Wi-Fi available in 722 Senior High Schools across the country, access to the almost innumerable resources available on the internet is expected to aid research, teaching and learning.
The State would take up 70% of the cost of the laptop, while the teacher makes up the difference. The laptop, however, becomes the personal property of the teacher and serves the benefit of providing a tool for developing the teacher’s professional and personal capacity.
But a statement issued by Mr Ekow Djan on Tuesday September 7, reacting to this and another statement issued by the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGART), said “The controversies surrounding this initiative demand answers from the three leading Teacher Unions and Government.
“This is a clear thievery, cooked by the Unions and perfectly executed by the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Education and the office of the Vice President.
“A laptop selling at $69 is being sold to Ghanaian teachers at GHS 1550 according to the Vice President and on another breadth, the President of NAGRAT, Mr Angel Agbe-Carbonu is saying the unit cost of the laptop is GHS 1831.47.
“The Ghanaian teacher must only understand that the actual price of the laptop is GHS 414. Government will, however, deduct GHS 465 from teachers’ salaries— an excess of GHS 51 has been added.
“This is nothing but robbery. Vice President Bawumia, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Prof Kwesi Opoku-Amankwa and the Union leaders must be hauled before a bipartisan committee to answer questions. We cannot continue to do this to ourselves!”