A teacher union known as All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) has taken to some principal streets in Accra to protest the ‘one teacher- one laptop initiative by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

The group said it is displeased with government’s decision to deduct an amount of GH¢509 from the teachers’ professional development allowance as payment for the one-teacher, one laptop policy.

According to the Union, the deduction is being done at a time when a legal battle, that seeks to terminate the implementation of the initiative, is ongoing.

Some members who spoke to JoyNews at the demonstration called on the government to immediately refund their money, reiterating that the laptops are not fit for purpose.

They also levelled allegations against the Education Ministry and the GES for failing to engage their leaders prior to the introduction of the policy.

“We need our money back, we don’t want the laptop any longer; they are not of good quality [so] we don’t want, we want our money back. The issue is we were not consulted. There has to be a mutual understanding [but] there wasn’t.”

ATAG members protest 'one teacher-one laptop' policy
Members of the Alliance protesting in some principal streets of Accra

The disgruntled protestors hinted at pursuing legal actions against the government if they do not get a refund of their GH¢509 as soon as possible.

“We will sue them because I have a better laptop. How could [they] force on me an inferior type of laptop and you think I should be happy? If you want to take me for a fool, I will tell you that I am not a fool. If you have a car and somebody buys an inferior car for you and forces you to pay for that car, would you be happy?” they quizzed.

“The President said we can’t be rich by the teaching profession. Where on earth will a worker, having the notion, having the ambition to be one of the rich people in the world and a whole President will come and tell the same worker by [the nature] of your profession, you can’t be rich; it’s a big insult to teachers.”

General Secretary of All Teachers Alliance Ghana, Albert Dadson Amoah, in an earlier interview, ahead of the demonstration, on Accra-based Citi FM said “they [GES] should prepare for us. We want to use this forum to call on GES once again to immediately refund the GH₵509 to teachers.”

ATAG members protest 'one teacher-one laptop' policy

“Besides, there are some GES workers who are not teachers, there are the cleaners, cooks, among others. Some earn as little as GH₵700 and the government has gone ahead to deduct GH₵509 from their salaries. How are these people expected to survive?” he queried.

Under the One teacher-One laptop policy, the government required that teachers pay 30 percent of the cost of GHS 1,550 through deductions from their salaries while it paid 70 percent.

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