The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as reckless comments by the Education Minister that Monday’s chaos at the Black Star Square during the Senior High School placements was staged.
The opposition party suggests that Matthew Opoku Prempeh (a.k.a Napo) was referring to former President John Mahama when he said some individuals were bused to the Independence Square “just to create a scene and undermine the ongoing shambolic Computerized School Selection and Placement process.”
In a press release issued on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the party said:
“This reckless comment which is very characteristic of Matthew Opoku Prempeh's disposition to criticism since assuming office as Education Minister is shameful, to say the least, and exposes his crass incompetence and cluelessness which have landed the nation in the Secondary School Placement quagmire we presently find ourselves.
“It is important to remind the Education Minister, that the ongoing school placement mess which has been described by the PTA National Chairman as the worst since the inception of the CSSPS is his own creation and nothing more.”
The NDC statement, signed by its National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, also called for the immediate dismissal of the Education Minister.
Read the full press release by the NDC below.
NDC CALLS FOR THE IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL OF LOOSE-TALKING EDUCATION MINISTER FOR HIS FALSE AND IRRESPONSIBLE CLAIMS AGAINST JOHN MAHAMA
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has become aware of certain reckless, irresponsible and impetuous commentary by the Education Minister, Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh to the effect that, the Flag-bearer of the NDC and former President of Ghana, H.E John Dramani Mahama was responsible for busing individuals to the Independence Square just to create a scene and undermine the ongoing shambolic Computerized School Selection and Placement process.
The Minister, while responding to various questions on Asempa FM on the harrowing experiences of Ghanaian parents and their wards at the GES Solution Center in Accra, rather strangely and unconscionably attributed his own failure to an alleged plot by his innocent political opponents.
It would appear to us, that the Akufo-Addo government and its functionaries still do not know the times we are in. They continue to live in their own world of denial, thinking that by blaming President Mahama and the NDC for everything under the sun, the woes of Ghanaians today which are largely the creation of Akufo-Addo's clueless leadership will suddenly be addressed.
We wish to put on record that the embarrassing spectacle parents and students are being subjected to at the Black Star Square, is the direct result of the inefficient management of the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) by the Akufo-Addo government.
Having failed to manage a simple placement process, something previous Ministers of Education have been doing for the past decade, the least expected of Matthew Opoku Prempeh is to apologise to Ghanaians and show some remorse and sensitivity to the plight of these parents and their poor youngsters whose only crime is to go to Senior High School.
Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, instead of assuaging the concerns of Ghanaians by addressing critical issues such as boys being placed in Girls' schools and vice versa, corruption in the management of the computerised placement, extortion and other burning issues, the Education Minister chose to brand all such critical questions from Ghanaians as views from NDC members with derision and abrasiveness unbecoming of a public officer.
This reckless comment which is very characteristic of Matthew Opoku Prempeh's disposition to criticism since assuming office as Education Minister is shameful to say the least, and exposes his crass incompetence and cluelessness which have landed the nation in the Secondary School Placement quagmire we presently find ourselves.
It is important to remind the Education Minister, that the ongoing school placement mess which has been described by the PTA National Chairman as the worst since the inception of the CSSPS is his own creation and nothing more.
The Education Minister could not deny the fact that competent GES staff who were trained under the Mahama Administration to man the process have been arbitrarily removed and replaced with political apparatchiks. Neither could he deny the fact that the hitherto robust software which they inherited from the Mahama Administration was inexplicably discarded and replaced with the current one only three (3) months to this major exercise.
The implication of the above-enumerated failures, coupled with the ridiculous and dehumanizing centralization of the CSSPS Complaints & Solution Centre at the Independence Square in Accra is what has caused the avoidable placement crises we presently find ourselves.
Thus, the current crises is the creation of the Mathew Opoku Prempeh-led Ministry of Education and a symptom of the leadership paralysis that has plagued all sectors of the country under the watch of President Akufo-Addo. Therefore, the attempt by the uncouth Minister of Education, to blame H.E John Dramani Mahama for same is most preposterous, ludicrous and an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians who are bearing the brunt of his legendary incompetence.
The NDC demands an unqualified apology and retraction of the irresponsible comments by the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh within 24 hours, failing which he must be dismissed from office without delay to save this country from any further embarrassment, that is if President Akufo-Addo is serious about the governance of this country. Ghana deserves quality and efficient ministers of state, not reckless, clueless and irresponsible ones like Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
We also call for a full-scale inquiry into the 2019 SHS placement fiasco. It is our considered view that the nation must ascertain the veracity of the numerous allegations of a dubious software, hacking and alleged corrupt practices on the part of officials of the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education relative to this year's Secondary School Placement, and above all, put appropriate measures in place to forestall any such future occurrence.
In conclusion, the anguish and frustration unleashed on thousands of Ghanaian parents and their wards over the mundane issue of placement in secondary schools, is yet another example of the hopelessness of the Akufo-Addo government, which has plunged Ghana into a quandary of retrogression and decline. It further underscores the urgent need to show them the exit at the earliest opportunity in the 2020 polls to avert the total collapse of the Ghanaian polity.
Comrade Sammy Gyamfi
(National Communication Officer)