Over 100,000 teachers are yet to receive their laptops since 2021 — GNAT President

In reaction to Ben Arthur, the Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), condemning the ongoing strike by public school teachers, Rev. Owusu asserted that Arthur consistently criticizes the union whenever teachers declare a strike, seizing every available opportunity to do so.

His responses coincide with the launch of the Ghana Smart School Project by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, aimed at distributing 1.3 million tablets to Senior High School and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students.

Speaking on JoyNews on Monday, March 25, 2024, to justify why public school teachers have been on strike, Rev. Owusu said “When it comes to the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the unions have raised five solid issues, and each of the issues is very important and dear to the teacher we’re representing. Regarding the issue concerning the laptop, the contract says that within 12 calendar months; that is from January 2021 to December 2021, the supplier should have finished the distribution and we are in 2024. More than 100,000 teachers have not received the laptop, and what is the engineer talking about?”

In September 2021, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia launched the ‘One Teacher, One Laptop’ initiative to facilitate lesson planning, teaching, and learning outcomes.

Ghana would not be left behind in the fourth industrial revolution era and would leverage ICT tools to accelerate socio-economic development, he stated at the ceremony in Accra.

Every teacher in the public school from kindergarten to the senior high level would receive a computer laptop.

The government would pay 70 percent of the cost of the laptop, while each teacher would pay the remaining 30 percent.

He symbolically presented four laptops to four teachers of Saint Mary’s Senior High School to begin the distribution of the laptops.

A total of 71 teachers at the School received a laptop each.

Three teacher unions, namely the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), jointly announced a nationwide strike starting Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

The strike is a response to what they perceive as the government’s failure to address their concerns regarding working conditions.

Among the grievances cited are the withholding of teachers’ salaries, unilateral alterations to timetables without union consultation, and delays in the provision of laptops to the teachers.

However, during the inauguration of the Ghana Smart Schools Project aimed at furnishing SHS students with smart tablets, Nana Addo highlighted that the Ministry of Education had previously dispersed 200,000 laptops to educators across pre-tertiary institutions nationwide.

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