Former Minister for Education Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has disclosed that the government is facilitating the acquisition of 280,000 laptops for teachers despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The beneficiary teachers, he said, are from the pre-tertiary education and under the auspices of the teacher unions.
The former Education Minister disclosed this while contributing to a motion in Parliament for the House to thank President Nana Akufo-Addo for his Message on the State of the Nation, which he delivered on Tuesday.
He applauded the President and government for prioritising the welfare of teachers and stressed this remains a key objective of the administration following the restoration of the teacher training allowances.
Dr Prempeh indicated that to further enhance the welfare of the teacher, the government is introducing an innovative Comprehensive Teacher Policy.
“This is the first time since Independence that a government is introducing an actual policy aimed at the training and continuous professional development of teachers”, he pointed out.
Dr Prempeh who has been confirmed for the Energy Ministry stated that the government, for the first time, has also introduced a professional allowance for teachers and indicated that both teaching and non-teaching staff are benefiting from it.
Speaking on the energy sector, Dr Prempeh, indicated that the energy sector debt has been tipped to hit US$12.5 billion by 2023.
“This crisis did not start under the Nana Akufo-Addo government. It started because we signed different IPPs [agreements] (Independent Power Producers) with different companies and institutions to give us power during the electricity crisis.
“It was done on an emergency basis but the fact of the matter is that Ghana is being overcharged. That is why the President is talking about the renegotiation of these IPPs to ensure we can have affordable pricing so that Ghana can have electricity and power that people can afford”, Dr Prempeh who is also the MP for Manhyia South added.
MP for Asunafo South Eric Opoku in his contribution, charged President Akufo-Addo to be candid with Ghanaians.
According to him, the President was economical with the truth when he indicated Ghana does not import tomatoes any longer and has in fact become a net exporter.
Mr. Opoku averred that just recently tomato importers had cause to send a petition to the IGP for security due to attacks on their vehicles on the Kumasi – Bolgatanga – Burkina Faso road.
“They import tomatoes from Burkina Faso and in 2019 Ghana imported tomatoes at a cost of US$758,000 from Burkina alone.
“We also import tomatoes from Netherland, Italy, Morocco, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, and even Lebanon, fresh or chilled.
“So, how then can the President claim we are no longer importing tomatoes?” he questioned.
Mr Opoku argued that it is important to identify the challenge of the nation in order to profess solutions and wondered how the President could have solutions when he does not know the problems.