Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh yesterday lambasted his predecessor, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, describing her as an embarrassment and disgrace for piling up debts for the ministry.
According to the current Minister of Education, “Her four-year tenure under John Mahama was an embarrassment.”
Dr Opoku Prempeh, popularly called Napo, was livid about the conduct of the former minister.
He observed that Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang starved basic schools of consumables like chalk.
It would be recalled that a Presbyterian Basic School in Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region had to go on its knees begging former Second Lady Matilda Amissah-Arthur, for chalk.
Reading from the official handing-over notes of his predecessor on Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosii Sen’ programme yesterday, Napo said he was disappointed over how the education ministry procured services without making any provisions to pay for them.
“She doesn’t understand education,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said of Prof Opoku Agyemang – who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
According to him, Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s deputy, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, also made peddling of falsehood his stock-in-trade and has entered opposition with that habit.
In Dr Opoku Prempeh’s estimation, the success rate of the ‘Free Senior High School’ programme of the Akufo-Addo government is 90%.
He disclosed that yellow buses distributed to senior high schools left an $18 million debt while $17 million for textbooks hangs on the ministry.
He referred to the Kukurantumi incident, where the second lady castigated a headmistress for asking her for chalk after she had presented some computers to the school.
Napo said his predecessor left behind a debt of GH¢10 million for the supply of chalk, while feeding grants for special schools like School for the Deaf struggled to feed students, as GH¢4.7 million debt was left at the ministry.
There was GH¢33 million debt for the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC’s) Progressively Free Education, while the GETFund was run aground with a GH¢3.7 billion debt.
The minister expressed shock that Prof. Opoku Agyemang could sign a bill stating that the University of Environment and Sustainable Development would be established at Somanya and have its first campus at Donkorkrom.
“The distance between the two places is 375km,” he said.
“A whole Professor, how can you sign this if you are not part of a 419 government?” he queried.
Napo could not fathom why someone, who is a former UCC Vice-Chancellor, could superintend over such incompetence.
He gave Prof Opoku-Agyemang’s debt breakdown as per the John Mahama administration’s own handing-over notes:
Feeding Grants for Colleges of Education – GH¢36 million
Feeding Grants for Special Schools – GH¢4.7 million
SHS Subsidy – GH¢24 million
Progressively Free Senior High School debt – GH¢33 million
Capitation Grant, GH¢8 million
GETFund debt – GH¢3.7 billion