Yaw Buabeng Asamoa

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says former President John Mahama’s choice of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, shows that he is not serious.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang was confirmed on Monday, July 6, 2020, by the National Executive Committee of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as running mate of Mr Mahama for the 2020 presidential election.

But the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a press conference on Monday evening, expressed the belief that Mr Mahama has shot himself in the foot by choosing Prof. Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang was a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.

She was also Minister of Education under the erstwhile Mahama-led NDC Government.

While congratulating Prof. Opoku-Agyemang for the feat, the NPP said her track record will erode the gains of the Umbrella Family.

Speaking at the press conference, the Director of Communications of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa reminded Ghanaians about the scrapping of the teachers’ trainee allowances under her tenure as Education Minister, the signing of a petition for the release of the Montie 3 who threatened justices of the Supreme Court among other hardships teachers went through.

“Teachers were the hardest hit when Naana Opoku-Agyemang was at the helm of affairs at the Education Ministry. Apart from their transportation allowances not being paid, Naana Opoku- Agyemang also introduced the practice of teachers working for two years without being paid and being restricted to being paid only three months back pay, no matter how long they had worked. This inhumane treatment meted out to Ghanaian teachers at the time was the brainchild of Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the then Minister for Education. The cold-hearted manner in which teachers were treated by Naana Opoku-Agyemang cannot easily be forgotten,” he said.

When she reigned as the Minister for Education, he said: “Teachers were paid three months’ arrears for three years of work, sometimes more than that and sometimes less than that,” adding that Yearly incremental jump in salary scales of Teachers was wickedly cancelled.

He stated under her reign, “Allowance for Trainee Teachers was cancelled at a time they were paying only 9000 beneficiaries claiming it was huge on government’s purse. Today, we have reintroduced the teacher training allowances and we are paying around 46,000 students.”

“Research and Book allowances of our hard-working Lecturers were canceled. Today we have reintroduced Book and research allowance and government has also put together a stand-alone bill to dedicate enough resources for the fund. There were no Teaching and Learning Materials in our schools, Ghanaians were insulted even when they asked for common chalk. She was by the side of Mr. John Mahama when he promised to build 200 Community Day SHSs and it turned out to be a ‘suuliya’ promise,” he added.

He recounted that: “She was again by the side of Mr. John Mahama when they failed to deliver on their promise of building 10 Colleges of Education. It was during her reign as Minister for Education that Teachers were always harassed by B.N.I. Officials. She presided over the freezing of employment in the Education Sector. And the heightened corrupt practices at the N.S.S. Secretariat. Remember the Secretariat is under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education. She has, recently, advised John Mahama to cancel the Licensure Examination for Teachers when, God forbid, they come to power. Any rational person wouldn’t do that because professionalism is anchored on licensing.”

During her tenure as the Minister for Education, Mr Asamoa added, the funding for the Progressively Free Senior High SCHOOL, School Feeding Programme, Capitation Grant—-were all in arrears.

“She presided over the near-collapse of the scholarships Secretariat. Students on Foreign Scholarships were always complaining because their fees and other allowances were always in arrears. All these anomalies have since been corrected by the NPP.”