Former Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, says the decision to provide teachers with subsidized laptops was triggered by the main teacher unions.
From the onset, the Ghana Education Service has said it has been working closely with the unions as far as the initiative is concerned.
“GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT [Ghana National Association of Teachers, the National Association of Graduate Teachers and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers] came to my office with a letter saying they had spoken with teachers, and they are going to buy computers and have signed a contract to give 280,000 teachers laptops,” he said in an interview on Peace FM.
“They said they would be taking GH¢1,500. They asked that because of the new curriculum and teacher licensing, and teacher lesson notes, they needed laptops, so the government should help and pay some of the cost for the teachers.”
Dr. Opoku-Prempeh, who is currently the Energy Minister, explained that the unions have been vocal against issues they disagree with in the past.
“When we were deducting GH¢10 for insurance, what didn’t they do to me? That was for insurance that would benefit them how much more GH¢1,500,” he said.
He added that critics “were crying more than the bereaved.”
Teachers will be expected to bear 30 percent of the cost, while the government pays 70 percent for the laptops that will be provided by KA Technologies.
There has been some opposition from some teachers, with two groups, the Innovative Teachers Alliance of Ghana (ITAG), and the All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG), criticising the cost-sharing module in the policy and a lack of transparency.
They are also worried that the policy could mirror the failed RLG partnership to supply laptops to Ghanaians schools.
In 2010, RLG was contracted by the government to manufacture and distribute over 100,000 laptops to schools across the country.