There was a mad rush for RLG branded laptops for teachers with scores of men and women of the noble profession besieging the premises of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra yesterday, in an attempt to have one of the 50,000 laptops under the national ICT for teachers programme.
The scramble for the laptops nearly resulted in chaos when the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Paul Krampah, gave contradictory information on the ownership of the laptops.
Though the Minister of Education, Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman, had earlier indicated in a speech that the laptops were for the teachers, the GES PRO who was the master of ceremony for the short event, before the handing over the laptops, noted that the gadgets belonged to the school and that teachers should be ready to relinquish it when they were transferred.
This development led to agitation among the teachers who had just ended a week-long training on the use of the computers.
While some of the teachers thought it was just a matter of miscommunication between the PRO and the Minister, others who spoke to DAILY GUIDE on plea of anonymity noted the assertion was bound to create confusion between them and their head teachers.
‘Well I do not care what they say about the ownership of the laptops. I know for sure that I was the only one who undertook the training and the laptop was given to me after my number and signature had been penned beside my name to indicate that I have received it so there is no contention over who owns it,’ said one of the teachers.
Other teachers were also worried over the methods which were being used to distribute the laptops as even though they had been selected by their respective schools to participate in the ITC training workshop ‘we are now required to produce identity numbers while some others cannot find their names in the list.’
Not far away from where the angry teachers where voicing their concern over the method used for distributing the laptops, was a long queue with teachers almost toppling over each other to grab their electronic gadget.
However, the teachers where all smiles the moment they received their gadget shaking hands with each other and discussing what they intended doing with it with their colleagues.
Yet there were also concerns over issuing of certificates. While some participants in the training workshop had received theirs, others were told to pick it later.
Another teacher who spoke to the DAILY GUIDE noted that when the project was launched in the later part of last year, it was indicated that only teachers teaching ICT in the various schools in Accra would receive the laptops, yet during the distribution, other subject teachers such as Mathematics, Home Economics among others, also received the gadget.
Last year President John Dramani Mahama launched a nationwide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training for teachers across the country aimed at improving their knowledge base.
As part of the initiative, RLG Institute of Technology, a subsidiary of RLG Communications, was contracted by government to train 50,000 teachers nationwide and provide them with laptops for the first phase of the project.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday President Mahama extolled the importance of ICT in the lives of professionals and called on the teachers to make good use of the opportunity offered by government.
The then Minister of Education, Lee Ocran, noted that the project would also include the rehabilitation of all science laboratories across the country at 81 million pounds.
He said government had also contracted Zepto and Omatek, which are also into the production of computers in the country, to assist RLG in the manufacturing and distribution of the laptops to the schools and teachers across the country.
Madam Vivian Adjo Tetteh, Accra Metro Coordinator for Science, Maths and ICT Education, on behalf of the recipients expressed appreciation to government for the offer.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey