COALITION OF Concerned Teachers has threatened to walk out from any public event that Vice President Paa Kwasi Amissah-Arthur will attend in protest of his wife, Matilda Amissah-Arthur’s alleged insults of teachers.
George Akwaah, an executive member of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Coalition, stated that they would only rescind their decision if the vice president’s wife publicly apologized to teachers in the country.
‘Teachers in the country shall walk away at any public programme that the vice president will attend henceforth if the second lady refused to render unqualified apology to teachers,’ he said on Nhyira FM.
George Akwaah said the second lady had shown gross disrespect to teachers in the country without any cause, stressing that the teachers would also humiliate the vice president in public as a form of revenge, if the second lady fails to apologize.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur had rejected a request for teaching and learning materials by the headmistress of Kukurantumi Presbyterian School saying that the teachers should use their resources absolving government from its responsibilities.
Sounding extremely angry, he added that ‘the teachers would also consider Matilda Amissah-Arthur as persona non-grata if she fails to apologize to teachers adding that ‘she has disgraced the office of the president by her unprovoked utterance.’
Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur caused a stir at a public function at Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School in the Eastern Region, recently, where she lambasted teachers for not being proactive enough to create new things to enhance learning.
The headmistress of the school complained of short supply of chalk and other key teaching materials which was impeding smooth academic work at the school, so she appealed to the second lady to forward their concerns to the presidency.
Mrs. Amissah-Arthur, surprisingly, became annoyed about the humble request of the poor headmistress as she jabbed teachers for not being innovative enough, right in the presence of chiefs and other dignitaries at the function.
George Akwaah said it is wrong for the second lady to tell teachers to use their personal money to buy chalk and other teaching materials, insisting that the provision of such materials is the sole duty of government.
‘The second lady by her shocking statement, had disrespected the headmistress of the Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School, Juliet Oppong and all teachers in the country,’ the Coalition of Concerned Teachers member said.
Speaking on the same programme, Sam Pyne, the Ashanti Regional NPP Scribe, who is also a teacher, expressed disgust at the second lady’s remarks, saying ‘her utterance was a normal NDC propaganda speech.’
Kwaku Boahen, NDC Deputy Communication Director, also a trained teacher, backed the second lady for making the remark, insisting that Matilda Amissah-Arthur said nothing wrong.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has also expressed disgust at the second lady’s outburst, describing it as not only insensitive but also unacceptable.
NPP Wades In
In a statement, National Women’s Organiser of the party, Otiko Afisa Djabah indicated that ‘Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur’s comment that the provision of the school uniforms is “not by force” and that the teachers have been ‘spoilt’ vindicates the NPP’s position that the NDC government is insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.’
According to her, ‘her (second lady’s) choice of words, tone, demeanor and attitude is unbefitting of the Second Lady and mother of Ghana’, since ‘Ghanaians deserve the greatest of respect.’
That, she said was characteristic of NDC government officials who make insensitive remarks like the notorious ‘violence begets violence’ comment by the Minister of Interior about violence in the recent Talensi by-election, ‘but we expect motherly thoughtfulness and sensitivity at least from a person of her caliber.’
The NPP, Otiko stated, ‘believes in the provision of free and quality education with the teacher at the center to develop an efficient human resource for the transformation of our country’ and that ‘to achieve this, it is the priority of the government to ensure that basic educational materials including chalk are provided constantly to schools to ensure that teachers have the tools and enabling environment to teach.’
She insisted: ‘this is the most insensitive statement from a Second Lady and it is unacceptable, and on behalf of the good people of Ghana, the NPP would like to urge her to bring some dignity to the office she occupies and use the same platform to apologise to Ghanaians, particularly, the prominent chiefs and people of Kukurantumi.’
By I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi & Charles Takyi-Boadu
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