Teachers to petition international bodies against One teacher, One laptop initiative

The All Teachers Alliance has served notice to petition international organizations to ensure that labour disrespect of teachers is stopped in Ghana.

They said in a statement that their attention had been drawn to a letter emanating from the Ghana Education Service (GES) referenced GES/HQ/SDTU/11/22 inviting teachers to ICT training.

According to them, the GES said the invitation is within the one teacher, one laptop initiative.

“The letter is opining that per the initiative every teacher is to undergo some basic ICT training to help them use the various e-learning resources that have been made available on the laptops. KA Technologies according to GES is mandated to carry out the training which will be done online (online workshop) for teachers. According to GES, the online workshop will attract CPD points, certification and assessment.

“We in the All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) find this invitation to be preposterous, machiavellian and uncalled for as our employer is bent to subject teachers to ridicule, labour rape and unsubstantiated actions,” their statement said.

Therefore, they added “We will petition the President of Ghana and other international organizations on this matter and ensure that labour disrespect of teachers discontinues in this country.”

Below is their full statement…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE ALL TEACHERS ALLIANCE GHANA (ATAG)

RE-INVITATION TO ICT TRAINING
Our attention had been drawn to a letter emanating from the GES referenced GES/HQ/SDTU/11/22 inviting teachers to ICT training.
They said the invitation is within the one teacher one laptop initiative. The letter is opining that per the initiative every teacher is to undergo some basic ICT training to help them use the various e-learning resources that have been made available on the laptops. KA Technologies according to GES is mandated to carry out the training which will be done online (online workshop) for teachers. According to GES, the online workshop will attract CPD points, certification and assessment.

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We in the All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) find this invitation to be preposterous, machiavellian and uncalled for as our employer is bent to subject teachers to ridicule, labour rape and unsubstantiated actions. Our reasons to oppose such invitation are justified by the following all-important reasons and revelations:

(a) According to the proposal binding teacher unions (representing teachers) and GES, the ICT training will attract a fee of GH₵300. The GH₵300 cost will cover technical training in the application of ICT devices in teaching per person for one month estimated at GH₵105 million. It is very strange for GES to turn around to tell teachers that GH₵300 meant for the technical training will be virtual training instead of in-person. So where will the technical support come from? Which kind of technical support is GES talking about in their proposal? Can online workshops guarantee technical ICT training knowing that ICT training requires practical guides? Labour rape is when one month of training estimated at GH₵300 per teacher at GH105million had been shortened for three days online workshop. What crime have teachers committed to deserve such disrespect and spat on the profession? What does GES take teachers for? This is unacceptable and should not be encouraged under a minister who had gained Cambridge and US experience.

(b) Besides, the laptops that will be used for this so-called online workshop have not been distributed to every teacher in the country. Primary school teachers are yet to receive the laptops and distribution is currently ongoing for JHS teachers. As it stands, there are still gaps unfilled to finish distributing the laptops to the SHS teachers. What it means is that if this so-called online training workshop takes place, many teachers who are yet to receive the laptops will not be able to participate in the training and will be denied their share of their training after deducting GH₵300 from their CPD allowance and pension money.

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(c) Again, GES does not know shame when they seem to tell teachers that every part of the country is wired with free internet or has internet access. So we ask GES “how will teachers get money to buy data to stay online for 2 hours to be trained for three days”. Staying online for 2 hours will attract data of not less than 4gig that will cost some GH₵50 (times 3 = ₵150) an additional cost to the poor teacher. More boggling is the ability of rural teachers to access fast and reliable internet to join the workshop online. More than 120,000 teachers will be denied this training because of the remoteness of their location. This is very incompetent and visionless of agency players who think that education is a playground for political gain.

(d) GES claim that participation in the online workshop will attract CPD points. GNAT has recently accused NTC of using the CPD training as a conduit of siphoning money from teachers and that NTC had crossed their mandate. They even wrote to GES and warned them about NTC. GES could not oppose the stance of GNAT but rather remained silent on the issue. NTC CPD cost GH₵75 per workshop and it is under each teacher’s convenience (teachers attend to their benefits). Per the invitation letter, every teacher is going to pay GH₵300 (GH₵100 each day) for an online workshop or training and scores CPD points. So between GES, GNAT and NTC, who is not being fair to teachers? Even the NTC CPD, teachers are served food and water out of their own money. What it means is that teachers are attending online workshops without food and water at a cost of GH₵100 each day and incur additional cost of ¢150 for buying data (12gig) to stay online for 6 hours (2hours each day for three days) to be trained. This is pure evil and must not be encouraged among intellectuals.

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We are releasing this statement to the press for them to know that GES is playing with the destiny of teachers in this country. We ask every teacher to boycott this online workshop and insist on the original plan in the proposal agreed upon by GES and the Teacher Unions. We insist teachers must attend this training in person not virtual. It will be the highest form of robbery to use ₵105 million of teachers CPD allowance and pension money to organize online technical ICT training for teachers at a cost of ₵300 for three days whilst the original plan state that it should done per person (teacher) for a month.

Section 2.5 of the proposal captioned Financial Requirement says the following:

“Financially, it is estimated to cost One thousand five hundred Ghana cedis (GH₵1,500.00) for a laptop and technical training in the application of ICT devices in teaching. Specifically, it is estimated to cost One thousand two hundred Ghana cedis (GH₵1,200.00) for a laptop computer. It is also estimated to cost three hundred Ghana cedis (GH₵300.00) for technical training in the application of ICT devices in teaching per person for one month”.

We will petition the President of Ghana and other international organizations on this matter and ensure that labour disrespect of teachers discontinues in this country.

…Signed…
Isaac Ofori
National Chairman
0249403277

… Signed…
Albert Dadson Amoah
General Secretary
0241871847/ 0244101020

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana