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GNAT to speak on ‘one teacher one laptop’ brouhaha

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The leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) will address issues raised by pre-tertiary public teachers across the country on the “One Teacher One Laptop” project, this is according to a statement issued here over the weekend.

The statement, issued by Thomas T. Musah, General Secretary of the GNAT observed the association has taken notice of concerns raised by its members on the laptop for teachers and will address the issues accordingly on Tuesday, December 7th.

“Beloved GNAT members, please we have taken notice of concerns on the “One Teacher One Laptop” project. All concerns will be addressed through a press conference on Tuesday 7th December 2021. Stay calm,” the statement said.

Public school teachers across the country are angry with the leadership of the GNAT, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) over what they allege is the fleecing of teachers under the “One Teacher One Laptop” project of the government.

According to the teachers, their union leaders have connived to inflate the cost of the laptops to fleece the unsuspecting poor teachers across the country.

Documents intercepted by News Ghana indicate that in September 2020, the leadership of the three unions; GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCT-GH with membership strength of 350,000 sought funding support from the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) for the procurement and distribution of laptop computers for its members.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Education (MoE), the teacher unions, and K.A. Technologies on November 13th, 2020, the unions requested for the procurement and supply of some 280,000 laptop computers initially to its members, but later turned out to be 350,000.

Following the extensive financial requirement of the project, a cost-sharing arrangement between the teacher unions and the MoE was proposed by the union’s leadership in which the MoE was to contribute 70% of the total cost whilst the remaining 30% was to be absorbed by the teachers.

A request for approval to use a single-source procurement process to engage K.A. Technologies Ghana Limited (a company proposed by the teacher unions) for the supply of the laptop computers was made on December 17th, 2020 with Hon. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, then Minister for Education.

Subsequently, an approval to use the single-sourced procurement method to engage K.A. Technologies for the supply of the 350,000 computers at a unit cost of GH₵ 1,550 was given.

Having gone through the earlier process, another MOU was signed between the Ministry of Education, the teacher unions, and K.A. Technologies Ghana Limited towards the acquisition and supply of the laptop computers.

Per the MOU, an amount of GH₵ 465 was supposed to have been deducted from the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) allowance of pre-tertiary education teachers at the end of November 2021.

However, to their utter surprise, an amount of GH₵ 509.55 was deducted from the November salaries of some 350,000 public sector teachers across the country.

The teachers, who say they were not consulted by their union leaders on the laptops are calling for an immediate refund.

Meanwhile, some aggrieved teachers are set to hold a demonstration on December 15th against their union leaders and the Ghana Education Service (GES) for deducting the said amount from the salaries of teachers without their consent. Enditem


SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah

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