Resign Or We Push You Out
The woes of the embattled Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, are far from over, following the embarrassing corruption issues linked to his office in the 2021 “School Placement ForSale” scandal.
Even before the dust could settle, a ranking member of the Education Select Committee of Parliament is urging the minister to resign honourablyand save his image or risk being pushed out, as the issues are murkier than what is being reported.
According to Dr. Clement Apaak, the sector minister does not deserve to be in office with all these glaring issues of corruption associated with his office.
“I have gathered all the needed information and I will be personally calling for his resignation on the floor of Parliament.
“The placement for sale is murkier than what is in the public domain,” he averred.
Dr.Apaak made this call when speaking in a one-on-one interview on “The Citizen Show,” hosted by Kwabena Bobie Ansah on Accra 100.5 FM on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
Dr.Apaak said investigations have pointed to the fact that it was the minister’s password that was used in approving the grade-A schools for sale as part of the Computerised Senior Secondary School Placement System (CSSPS).
According to him, the minister appeared before a committee that was investigating the placement for sale exposé by The Fourth Estate, an online portal, but he refused to name the person he gave his password to do the approvals.
He said the investigation to look into the activities of the CSSPS in connection with approvals for sale was at the instance of the ousted Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa.
This, he said, resulted in a frosty relationship between the former Director General of GES and the sector minister.
He alleged that the former Director General was an ally of the former Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
“So it came as no surprise to some of us who are stakeholders in the sector when the former Director General was removed from office,” he said.
He further commended him for the initiative in having the matter investigated, saying it took the ingenuity of The Fourth Estate, led by investigative journalist Manasseh Azure, for the matter to come to the fore.
Dr. Apaak asserted, “Per the Fourth Estate’s report, some parents paid as much as GHS20,000 and GHS10,000 to have their children placed in grade A schools thereby denying the ordinary child on the street the opportunity to be enrolled in these 63 grade A schools across the country.”
“But at the committee hearings chaired by officers from the Ministry of Education, the sector minister refused to give out the name of the officer when he was questioned about it.
“It took a leaked document of the committee for us to know all that transpired at the committee meetings,” he concluded.
But interestingly, an invitation by the Education Committee of Parliament to Dr. Osei Adutwumto come and answer questions regarding the matter has not been to honoured, as the minister failed to show up.
Sources within the committee told The Anchor that the minister for the second time on Sunday, February 12, failed to show up for the meeting, after putting up similar behavior on Thursday, February 2, when he was billed to meet the committee.
The Anchor, in its last edition,also reported that officials under whose watch the alleged corruption scandal in the 2021 school placement occurred are still at post, without any shakeup, ahead of the release of this year’s placements by the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System.
This paper is informed that no effort has been made by the authorities to effect changes since the scandal broke, leaving the directors, coordinators and their agents at the Free SHS Secretariat, CSSPS and the Ministry of Education still at post and occupying their positions, as though nothing had happened.
Nobody has also been held responsible for the rot, as the suspected architects, conspirators and profiteers are still going about their normal duties and waiting for this year’s placements to be released as soon as possible.
There are those who believe that, the matter should be handed over to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for further investigation and those found culpable to be punished.
Others are also of the opinion that the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, whose tenure the scandal occurred, should, as a matter of principle, accept responsibility and step aside to allow full-scale enquiry into the issue.
Protocol Slot Hijacked
In an earlier publication, The Anchor reported that details had emerged that the protocol slot for the 2021 school placement, which became an avenue for corruption and was heavily abused, was practically hijacked by the Minister of Education.
After months of shielding an investigative committee report without success, it came to light that, out of the 5% protocol that is retained at the national level, the education minister alone had allocated to himself, a whopping 80%, while 20% was assigned to then director-general of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa.
The minister is also said to have moved the whole placement process from the Ghana Education Service to the Ministry of Education (MoE), without giving any explanation for his action.
“Prof. Amankwa indicated that, with the coming on board of the Ghana TVET Service, the Hon. Minister moved the whole placement process from the Ghana Education Service to the Ministry of Education for the 2021 school placement. He was assigned access to category “A” schools within the Ghana Education Service. He went further to say that out of the 5% protocol that is retained at the national level, he was assigned 20% and the Hon. Minister had 80%.”
This is contained in a testimony given by the former GES Director-General, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, when he appeared before the Ministry of Education’s investigative committee that probed the alleged corruption in the school placement.
The six-member committee report, a copy of which has been intercepted by The Anchor, is titled ‘REPORT ON ALLEGED CORRUPTION IN THE 2021 SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL PLACEMENT.’
Members of the committee include Mr. Edward Fiawoyife – Director Internal Audit (as Chairman), Mrs. Matilda AwiahAzuimah(ESQ) – Head of Legal at MoE, Mrs. Cynthia Storph-Tagoe (ESQ) – Head of Legal at GES, Mr. David Prah – Deputy D-G, TVET Service, Nana Baffour Awuah Richard – Director at Pre-Tertiary and Mr. Patrick Arthur – Principal Planning Officer at MoE.