Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has said there has not been a single demonstration by teachers under his tenure since, saying that alone should be cause enough for Ghanaians to ensure that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and former President John Mahama are not allowed to return to power in the 7 December 2020 polls.
Speaking at a conference of the Volta Regional NPP Teachers’ Network in Ho on Sunday, Dr Prempeh said: “In three-and-a-half years, what your government has done is unparalleled”.
“Today, I won’t talk about what we have done in education, I’ll talk about what we have done with teaching and teachers.
“And I would like those who claim they are Professors and held the Ministry for four years before I got there, to sit by me so we could count our achievements one by one,” he challenged.
According to him, “for four years, there have not been a teacher demonstration or strike; that in itself, should send NDC into the bush”, adding: “If they were managing well, the car would not be parked near the bush”.
“They never managed leadership, they exercised power but never were leaders,” he asserted.
Dr Prempeh accused the Mahama administration of messing up the education since and not treating teachers well.
“You were paid as a pupil-teacher the day you started training, you got paid till you finish – whether you pass your final exams or not.
“A certain government came and said: ‘Let’s separate the colleges of education from the Ghana Education Service. So, it led to the truncation of the pupil-teacher pay.
“That government, in another time, decided to stop the teacher trainee allowance, with the excuse that you’re a tertiary institution so qualify for student loan.
“That was not the problem because it was the truth but the teacher trainee who finished the college of education, who got posted, was not put on the payroll of the Ghana Education Service till you did your probation and your induction and your ‘kominini’ and you got your completion before the district supervisor or somebody came to certify that you’re.
“So, I know of teachers who taught for 20 years, who never got onto the payroll because they never completed their exams in the training college.
“So, the pupil teacher pay continuing when they finish school was to enable the teacher have something to chew upon before he was fully absorbed into the teaching profession. When they cancelled it and stopped the teacher trainee allowance, they never thought about what was happening to the teacher, who went to Pusiga, Aflao, Wenchi or Tumu, who knew nobody in that community, where that teacher was going to live, how that teacher was going to sustain himself till that teacher’s salary came; that is another form of disrespect to the teacher,” Dr Prempeh critiqued.
He, therefore, urged the teachers to reject the second coming of Mr Mahama and the NDC.