Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper says comments by the wife of the Vice-President in response to a headteacher’s request for chalk in her school are unpalatable.
Kwesi Pratt said Mrs Matilda Amissah Arthur should not be entirely blamed for the comments because her level of understanding of the issue was limited.
Speaking on Adom FM’s morning show ‘Dwaso Nsem’, he said “she does not go for cabinet meetings so she cannot understand why certain policies were made, so how can she explain government policy, she cannot.
“She just made a mistake so let’s forgive her and move on but I hope it does not happen again”, he added.
Mrs Amissah Arthur is reported to have turned down a request by a headmistress for the provision of chalk and other teaching materials in her school.
Headmistress of the Kukurantumi Presby Primary School, Juliet Oppong had said, “the elderly say if you want to communicate something to God, you say it to the wind, we are therefore requesting of you to tell government to try and come to our aide with these things which are in short supply in the school…,”.
Mrs Amissah Arthur replied in Twi, saying, the Headteacher has shocked me…she said you lack chalk and log books…I am very shocked that you are today asking me about chalk…how much is a box of chalk…I won’t give you chalk today, I won’t give you chalk tomorrow.
But many have berated her for the comments.
Former Director-General of Ghana Education Service, Michael Nsowah, said suggesting that schools should find ways of buying their own chalk, log books and other essentials is a gross display of ignorance.
He said the Second Lady completely misfired because page 48 of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Educaation (F-CUBE) Document mandates government to provide essentials like chalk, pens, log books, registers and others for schools, while parents are to provide school uniforms and shoes.
He added that the necessary government interventions like free school uniforms for needy pupils are also captured in the F-CUBE Document, but there is nothing like distribution of free shoes.
Mr Pratt said Mrs Amissah-Arthur should have been mindful of her speech and that she could have replied the comments without being as explosive as she was.
He commended her for providing laptops for the school saying “for her to think of even providing laptop for the school is encouraging. Let’s not take it out of proportion”.
He called for a media team to be set up to handle all media activities of the Vice-President’s wife and all other high profile leaders in the country.
“People in her circles should ensure that it does not happen again, her handlers should hold on to all her public engagement and if possible train her.
“A full-time media manager should be employed for her. One competent media manager for the Vice President’s wife is not too much to ask but let’s forgive her”, he added.
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