EducationGhana| December 03| TM1 LAPTOP: Three major 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) have sold their conscience for money over Teachers Mate 1 (TM 1) Laptop deal.
Credible information gathered by EducationGhana suggests that the teacher unions did not tell the teachers the facts about the laptop they went in for.
Since the launch of the laptop to date, there have been contradictory figures as to the exact cost of the laptop, the institution responsible for the contract, the role of the teacher unions etc.
The unions also questioned the legality of the Company responsible for manufacturing the laptops.
A former Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, NAPO also indicated that the laptop contract was signed by the Major Teacher Unions and the Ghana Education service with KA Technologies Ghana Limited and not the Ministry as being purported by the teacher unions.
He also said that the laptop was meant for 280,000 teachers at a cost of GH¢1,550 per teacher of which the government through GETFUND paid 70% of that money after issuing a bond which was bought by the teacher unions through the Ghana Education Service Occupational Pension Scheme, (GESOPS).
From all the allegations and confirmation, it can be stated, that the unions connived with the Ghana Education Service to work on a fraudulent deal that shall not directly benefit their members.
Some findings from the arguments suggest that;
- It was not the government’s intention to provide laptops for teachers.
- Teacher unions GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT, brought that request to the government to procure laptops for teachers. According to NAPO, former education minister, the unions alleged they had discussed with teachers already and teachers agreed.
- These teacher unions mentioned in(2), requested the government to take 70% of the cost and for teachers to take 30% which was eventually agreed.
- The government through the Ministry of Education requested the above-mentioned teacher unions to contract a company that will procure and customize the laptops for teachers. Take note, Government didn’t contract any company to provide laptops.
- The teacher unions mentioned in (2) brought a company with no track record for procurement.
- The government through the Ministry of Education had no hand in determining the cost of the laptop per unit. All were negotiated by our teacher unions.
- The contract was then signed by all parties. The official cost per laptop was GH¢1,550.
It was not initially compulsory for all teachers but was made so because the teacher unions sensed many teachers may opt-out of the project.
Mode of payment was to be in instalment after receiving your laptop but it was later decided to be deducted from the teacher’s professional allowance.
Government 70% quota of the laptop was to be used as upfront payment for the procurement but it was not ready then and is still not ready now.
- These teacher unions mentioned in (2) decided to go for a loan without consulting teachers to fund the laptops. There was an interest on the loan.
These teacher unions urged the government to take an interest in the loan but the government was reluctant.
So instead of deducting GH¢465 as a 30% component of Ghc1,550, they spread the interest for teachers to bear the cost, making a total deduction of Ghc509.
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