National Women’s Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Hanna Louisa Bissiw, has described Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh as a ‘loose talker’ whose arrogance she said is having a toll on the country’s education sector.
Three teacher unions in the country are currently on strike over delay in payment of legacy arrears due them, beginning from December 9, 2019.
But Dr Opoku Prempeh, who says their action is illegal, reportedly described the strike action by the teacher groups as politically motivated.
However, reacting to the issue on Inside Politics on Monday, Dr Hanna Bisiw criticised the minister and called on the government to heed to the demands of the “hungry teachers.”
To her, the government is insensitive to the plights of the teachers who have been working tirelessly to educate the country.
Expressing her disgust, the women’s leader asked the minister to apologise to the teachers and parents for “insulting” them.
“We in the NDC have no time to engage teachers to embark on a strike…we are busy putting together better policies that will alleviate poverty and make life better for Ghanaians when they vote for us in 2020,” she said.
To her, Dr Opoku Prempeh (Napo) is an empty, inept ‘loose talker’ who blames others for his mistakes, saying “he talks loosely and desrespects Ghanaians at the least chance. What he said was pure crap and we need to condemn him outright. Napo, you are a disgrace to your government and Ghana…You better apologise to the teachers your government is starving because of your incompetence.”
Speaking to host Mugabe Maase on Inside Politics, National President of GNAT, Philippa Larsen said the teachers were not happy with the comment from the Education Minister.
“There are thousands of teachers who have not been paid their salaries, such people are suffering and he thinks it is politically motivated? We consider the Minister’s remarks as an insult. It is very bad and we are so disappointed,” she bemoaned.
She said some members of GNAT cannot return to their residences during the day time because they are unable to pay for their rents.
“The issue is very worrying, some have to depend on loans, what we are saying is that the government should do the needful and pay us our monies. Until that, we will continue to be on strike.
The groups: the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) have also refused to call off the strike.
On Monday the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Controller and Accountant-General and other stakeholders met the aggrieved teacher groups but could not reach a consensus.
Speaking on Power 97.9 FM midday news, PRO for the CCT, Awuley Ayikwei noted that they will only return to the classrooms when their accounts are credited.
“We are ready for any meeting…If they credit our accounts this Friday, we will return to work; that’s our position” he added.
Reacting to the position of the Ghana Education Service (GES), he urged members of his group not to be intimidated by the threats of the Ministry of Education and the government.
“We have the rights to go on strike and the strike is legitimate…we don’t care about what they will say. All we need is our monies,” he fumed.