The leadership of the three teacher unions –the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH) said here Tuesday they could not be blamed for an amount of GH₵509.55 from teachers’ salary last month under the ‘one teacher one laptop’ project.
According to the teacher unions, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) authorized the said deductions from the November salaries of pre-tertiary teachers.
Presenting the full facts of the deal at a press conference, the unions observed that the Education Ministry sought approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) after a memorandum of understanding was reached with the parties to use a single source arrangement to engage the supplier of laptop computers for the teachers.
The unions, in supporting their case indicated that the Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on November 25th, 2020 signed a letter with reference number REF.FA101/331/01/ by the MoE, IFT NO/GR/MOE/GD/SS/0050/2020 captioned “Notification of award of contract for the supply of laptop computers for pre-tertiary teacher unions across the country,” addressed to the supplier.
Subsequently, on 21st December 2020, a contract was signed between the Education Ministry and K.A. Technologies which the Chief Director of the ministry signed on behalf of the MoE.
The teacher unions further stated that a pre-financing agreement was entered into between the GES (Acting on behalf of the MoE) and the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme (GESOPS).
The unions are therefore calling on the government through the Ministry of Education to as a matter of urgency absorb the interest charges on the 30% that had accrued on the GESOPS pre-financing as well as ensure that teachers who are yet to receive their laptops were supplied by December 31st this year.
Public sector pre-tertiary teachers across the country are angry with the leadership of the GNAT, the NAGRAT, and the CCT-GH over what they allege is the fleecing of teachers under the ‘one teacher one laptop’ policy of the government.
According to the teachers, their union leaders have connived to inflate the cost of the laptops to fleece the poor teachers across the country.
In September 2020, the leadership of the three unions with membership strength of 350,000 sought funding support from the government through the MoE for the procurement and distribution of laptop computers for its members.
According to the original contract signed between the Education Ministry, 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 to its members.
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 then Education Minister Hon. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
Subsequently, an approval to use the single-sourced procurement method to engage K.A. Technologies for the supply of the computers at a unit cost of GH₵ 1,550.
Consequently, an MOU was signed between the MoE, the teacher unions, and K.A. Technologies Ghana Limited towards the acquisition and supply of laptop computers.
Per the agreement, an amount of GH₵ 465 was supposed to have been deducted from the salaries of pre-tertiary education teachers at the end of last month.
However, an amount of GH₵ 509.55 was deducted from the November salaries of some 350,000 public sector teachers, a development which the teachers are not happy with and are called on their union leaders to immediately provide answers and refund. Enditem