Tablets for Free SHS students not “bribe” – Bawumia Campaign Team

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Tablets for Free SHS students not “bribe” – Bawumia Campaign Team. The Campaign Team of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has justified Government’s decision to distribute some 3.1 million tablets to Free Senior High School (FSHS) students across the country.

According to the Team, the tablets were critical learning materials, which were meant to enhance the teaching and learning in the SHSs to improve students’ performances across the country.

It, therefore, rejected assertions that the distribution of the said tablets were “misplaced priority” and a “bribe” to lure the students into voting for the Government in the December polls.

“These tablets come in to provide textbooks, past questions, lesson videos and other educational resources to help teaching and learning and also greatly save cost for all,” Mr Dennis Miracles Aboagye, Director of Communications for the Bawumia Campaign Team, said at a news conference, in Accra, on Monday.

Former President and Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, last week, labeled government’s ‘one student, one tablet’ initiative as a “bribe” meant to secure the votes of the students in the upcoming elections.

The former President also questioned why the government would decide to purchase tablets when basic teaching and learning materials such as textbooks had not been provided for schools years after the curriculum was changed, describing the policy as a “misplaced priority”.

Mr  Aboagye, described the claims of the former President as “unfortunate” and “baffling”, and questioned his morality to criticise the initiative considering he (John Mahama) had attempted to roll-out similar project in 2016, when in power, and had also promised in his 2020 Manifesto to distribute tablets to students.

“So, it is baffling how same former President labels distribution of tablets to free SHS beneficiaries as misplaced and a bribe for vote,” he said.

Mr Aboagye said since the current administration assumed office in 2017, the education sector had witnessed massive investment due to the priority government placed on education.

He said the government had systematically and deliberately worked to transform the sector at all levels.

For instance, he explained that at the kindergarten level, government had invested heavily in equipping teachers with modern technologies to enhance early childhood development while age-appropriate learning materials, play equipment and resources for interactive engaging learning experience had been provided.

Additionally, he indicated that through GETFUND, the government was executing 1,270 infrastructural interventions with cutting-edge technology such as smart boards to widen accessibility and enhance interactive teaching and learning.

At the primary level, Mr Aboagye said the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration had rolled out many interventions, including providing extensive training and capacity, all geared towards empowering teachers.

“We have ensured the consistent provision of learning materials and embarked on targeted infrastructure upgrades to create conducive learning environments,” he touted.

He also explained that the implementation of the National Standardised Tests for Primary Two to Four students had improved learning outcomes, stating that proficiency in reading among Primary Two pupils had witnessed significant improvement over the past nine years (from two per cent in 2015 to 38 per cent in 2022).

Again, at the Junior High School stage, Mr Aboagye stated that Government had strengthened lower secondary education, including constructing some eleven model schools, each designed with modern amenities, which were currently at various stages of completion.

He said, through the Ghana National Digital Learning Project, government was also equipping students at that level with digital skills to enable them to thrive in the global digital economy.

Also, Mr Aboagye indicated that the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) had witnessed comprehensive modernisation and expansion drive with new state-of-the-art facilities under construction, whilst existing ones were undergoing renovation and upgrading.

On Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, he said, the Government had completed the construction of 10 regional STEM centres to train a complete STEM pipeline from primary through JHS to SHS.

The Communications Director assured that under a Bawumja-led government, the education sector would continue to witness improvement to develop human resources for development.

Policy such as the FSHS, he said, would be maintained as it was if Dr Bawumia was elected President come December 2024, to ensure no one was left behind.

Source: GNA


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