Two unions sue over One Teacher, One laptop contract

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Two unions, Innovative Teachers and All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG), have jointly sued over move to award a contract on the one teacher one laptop initiative.

The suit sighted by 3news.com said “Motion on Notice by Kwaku O Anim-Addo, Esq., Counsel for the Plaintiffs/Applicants praying the Honourable Court for an order for Interlocutory Injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, successors, assigns, service men, workmen and all persons claiming through them from awarding or entering inti a contract of selling or distributing laptops computers and/or in any way dealing with or interfering with any contract of selling or distributing laptop computers under the one teacher one laptop computer programme pending the final determination of this suit in terms of the accompanying affidavit.”

The gorup in a press statement said they “having continuously monitored the narrative about ‘one teacher one laptop’ initiative and enquiries made at relevant state institutions hereby state as follows: INNOVATIVE TEACHERS and All Teachers Alliance Ghana agree that teachers must be given laptops by the government as part of government responsibility in accordance with Section 9(a) of the Labour Law (Act 651).

“The distribution of quality laptops to teachers ought to have started in 2007 when President John Kufour introduced I.C.T as a subject.

“The poor I.C.T education teachers received with no practical skills before they were employed is the most cogent reason why teachers must be given quality laptops of brands that have been tried and tested. 4. COVID-19 as the reason espoused by GNAT, NAGRAT and CCT for teachers to be given laptops is preposterous and untenable. 5. We are vehemently opposed to the 30% and the 70% cost sharing idea of paying for the laptop because it is the responsibility of the employer to provide the tools needed by teachers to work.

“There is an obvious contradiction between the number of laptops to be distributed. The President quoted 280, 000 laptops and the Vice- President quoted 350,000 laptops. How can one contract have different figures?

“The price of the laptops keeps changing like a chameleon. With reference to GI3S Press Rel.. dated 9th September, 2021 the price of the laptop was 1,831 cedis and its 30% was 549 cedis. GES letter dated 26 October quoted 509 cedis as price for the 30% component. What was the actual amount negotiated before K.A TECHNOLOGIES started executing the contract?

“Teachers prefer Dell, 1.lenovo , Apple, Toshiba, Ace, Samsung and the other known brands just like Parliamentarians love TOYOTA V8 cars because what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Teachers feel insulted that the Ministry of Education does not think highly of same that is why it preferred a local ‘company’ with no track record in manufacturing laptops for the second time after the RLG debacle. 10.The defunct RLG distributed laptops to selected schools and teachers in Ghana. Since the laptops were substandard almost all of them broke down within a short time.

“One would have thought that Ministry of Education ought to have learned lessons from the RLG fiasco and not repeat same with K.A TECHNOLOGIES GHANA LIMITED.

“It has become obvious that the Ministry of Education will continuously insult teachers with laptops of suspicious quality which break down within a short time resulting in a huge financial loss to the state.

“The office of the Vice President and the person of the Vice President have been brought into disrepute when he launched and distributed uncertified TM1 laptops. The distribution of 71 uncertified laptops to teachers of ST. Mary’s Senior High school by the Vice-President during the launch of ‘one teacher one laptop’ initiative has undermined the effort of GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY in clapping down on the activities of persons who sell fake products.

K.A TECHNOLOGIES GHANA LIMITED does not have any track record in manufacturing laptops in Ghana. A11 the social media handles and website of the ‘company’ were all created in 2021 and the company does not have a landline. 0n November, 2020 K.A TECHNOLOGIES GHANA LIMITED was registered at the Public Procurement Authority.

“1n November 2020 K. A TECHNOLOGIES GHANA LIMITED was registered by SSNIT. We wrote to the REGISTRAR GENERAL and requested for the names of the Directors and Secretary of K.A TECHNOLOGIES.

“The REGISTRAR GENERAL indicated that after a search K.A TECHNOLOGIES was not found in the database of the REGISTRAR GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT. One cannot fathom but wonder why a company that does not exist in the database of REGISTRAR GENERAL DEPARTMENT was awarded this contract by the Ministry of Education.


“We wrote to GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY and asked whether the Ghana Standard Authority has certified the TM I laptops being distributed.

“The Ghana Standard Authority responded by saying that K.A TECHNOLOGIES GHANA LIMITED has not applied to GHANA STANDARD AUTHORITY for certification or quality evaluation As laptops.

The laptops from K.A TECHNOLOGIES that were distributed to some teachers not long ago have started breaking down. How did K.A TECHNOLOGY get this contract to manufacture 280,000 laptops or 350,000 laptops at a time when its laptop As not been certified by Ghana Standards Authority’.”

Dr Bawumia launched and handed over 350,000 laptops under the ‘One Teacher One Laptop’ programme in fulfilment of government’s pledge to equip Ghana’s teachers with the requisite ICT skills to prepare the next generation for the Fourth Industrial revolution.

At a brief but colourful ceremony at the campus of the St Mary’s Senior High School, Accra on Friday 3rd September, 2021 Dr Bawumia, assisted by the Minister for Education, Hon Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa; and the leadership of Teacher Unions, handed over the first of these laptops, known as the TM1 (Teachers Mate 1) to the 71 teachers of the school.

“Effective teaching and learning is critical to developing the human capacity for work, innovation and creativity; necessary ingredients for capacity building. Teachers are the indispensable pillars to this necessary capacity building. This initiative, in collaboration with the Teacher Unions, is to support the vision of the Ghana Education Service of creating an enabling environment to facilitate effective teaching and learning” Dr Bawumia stated.

Under the initiative, Government is to provide every teacher in Ghana, from Kindergarten to the Senior High School level, with a laptop preloaded with educational materials and with access to an E-Library equipped with books recommended by the GES on the various subjects. The materials can be accessed whether online or offline, and with free Wi-Fi available in 722 Senior High Schools across the country, access to the almost innumerable resources available on the internet is expected to aid research, teaching and learning.

The State would take up 70% of the cost of the laptop, while the teacher makes up the difference. The laptop, however, becomes the personal property of the teacher and serves the benefit of providing a tool for developing the teacher’s professional and personal capacity.

Features

This shift to ICT-based teaching and learning has many benefits for both teachers and students, according to experts in education. With the curriculum materials already installed onto the laptops, the suggested lesson notes prepared by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) can be downloaded onto the laptops and used to end the burdensome task of writing lesson notes into notebooks.

This would perfectly be in tandem with the fifth skill and competence under the new standards-based curriculum, the promotion of digital literacy.

The laptops would also help in the field of assessment. The filling of School-Based Assessment, report cards, cumulative records, and the building of learners’ individual portfolios would become easier if each teacher owns a laptop.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana