Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Dr. Clement Apaak, believes there is something fishy about the government’s ‘one teacher one laptop’ initiative.
He alleges the government’s mode of implementation and its inability to provide clear explanations on the total cost of the laptops and the number of beneficiary teachers simply indicates that the move has some underhand dealings.
Under the policy, the government will pay 70% of the cost of GHS1,550 with the teachers paying 30% through deductions from their salaries.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday, Dr. Apaak said he is convinced the deal is suspicious.
“We have been hearing about this proposal which was made by teacher unions. It is indeed very strange that the government today claims to have rolled out a policy where they are offering laptops to teachers at a 30% rebate. Isn’t it strange that the Vice President and Ministry of Education [can’t provide answers to some of the lingering questions?]. Government smells a bit fishy. Which company has been asked to buy the laptops? On what basis was the company selected to do such a massive undertaking, given the potential colossal financial amount that will be accrued as benefits.”
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who launched the programme said it is aimed at bridging the ICT gap between teachers in urban areas and their colleagues in rural areas.
He said the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic affected teaching and learning due to the unavailability of technological equipment, adding that the government will do all it can to sustain the programme.
“Government said the beneficiaries will be teachers from K.G to SHS, but they do not know the number of teachers in the first place. Government said it is doing this due to the lessons we have learnt from COVID-19, but many of these teachers are in areas without access to electricity. How are they going to utilize it? Is the state going to give them data?” Clement Apaak asked.
In the meantime, Dr. Apaak, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Builsa South accused the government of being disingenuous by implementing a policy the opposition party had already promised.
“This is a very poor attempt to plagiarize NDC’s manifesto promise to provide laptops to children from basic schools to SHS all the way to tertiary schools. So this knee-jerk reaction to plagiarize a policy that we have proposed is only informing the government of its inability to properly plagiarize a well-thought policy we would have implemented if we had won.”