My attention has been drawn to a maliciously false claim by Mr. Steven Siaka, the Chairman of the Education Committee in Parliament to the effect that the former NDC administration diverted 100 Mahindra pickup trucks and used same for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary campaign.
For the record, the said 100 Mahindra pickup trucks were part of a fleet of 500 vehicles that also included 100 Nissan Navara pickup trucks, 200 33-seater buses and 100 66-seater buses.
It is important to note that all these vehicles were directly presented to Heads of various institutions at a public ceremony at the Independence Square by former President John Mahama on the 14th of June, 2016. This handing over ceremony in full glare of publicity is well documented. (See evidence of publication below)
So far, not a single Head of a beneficiary institution or any official of the Ministry of Education for that matter has reported of a missing or diverted vehicle.
It is instructive to note that the Mahindra pickup trucks the Ministry of Education procured in 2016 were Mahindra Scorpios which are distinct from the Mahindra Boleros purchased by the NDC in 2015.
Discerning Ghanaians are therefore urged to treat this wicked and infantile fabrication with the utter contempt it deserves.
May I humbly appeal to the Chairman of the Education Committee to use his rather fertile imagination to support his Government with ideas on how to address the current crisis associated with the widely unpopular Double Track system which has led to considerable outrage and increased household spending on extra classes.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
MP, North Tongu
[Former Deputy Minister of Education]
The story on Cuelled from Ghanaweb.com is as follows :
President John Dramani Mahama yesterday presented 500 vehicles procured by the government to a number of educational institutions.
Kicking off his “Accounting to the People” tour of the Greater Accra Region with the presentation, the President told the beneficiary institutions, their teachers and administrators that “the government cares for you”.
The vehicles, made up of 100 Nissan Navara pick-ups, 100 Mahindra pick-ups, 200 33-seater buses and 100 66-seater buses, are meant to enhance the activities of the institutions and formed the first batch of vehicles to be distributed to schools.
The beneficiary institutions included senior high schools (SHSs), technical/vocational schools, special schools, polytechnics, and private universities, colleges of education and district education offices.
Others were new community day schools, student unions and the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF)
An important aspect of the school vehicle initiative is the decision to retrain the drivers assigned to the vehicles on defensive driving.
President Mahama said that would be done in collaboration with the Intercity STC Coaches Ltd and advised the institutions to take good care of the vehicles.
President Mahama said the presentation of the vehicles was to re-emphasise the importance government attached to education.
He pledged the government’s support to educational institutions to deliver quality teaching and learning.
He also noted the good work teachers and school administrators were doing and said the government would continue to partner them to make education better.
Colleges of Education
President Mahama said this year, five private colleges of education had been absorbed into the public system and recalled the promise he made that his government would build 10 new colleges of education.
However, he said a committee put in place by the Minister of Education advised against the building of the new colleges and rather suggested that some selected private ones should be absorbed into the public system.
“So we have absorbed five and we are going to upgrade the facilities and bring them up to standards,” he said.
The five colleges are the St Vincent’s College of Education at Yendi in the Northern Region, the St Ambrose College of Education at Dormaa Akwamu in the Brong Ahafo Region, the Al-Farouk College of Education in the Wenchi District, the Bia College of Education in the Western Region and the Gambaga College of Education in the Northern Region.
The President said five other private colleges of education were in line to be absorbed.
The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, said thousands of teachers had been retrained in Science and Mathematics.
Additionally, she said there had been massive supply of textbooks to schools.