Educationist Rejects Adutwum As One of Akufo-Addo’s Best Ministers
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s position that the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, was one of his best performing ministers has come under serious scrutiny.
A retired educationist, Mr. Samuel Yaw Kumah, says that the President got it wrong because he was not on top of happenings within the educational sector in recent times.
According to him, Ghana’s education was rather retrogressing and wobbling under the watch of the current sector minister, Dr. Adutwum.
In an encounter with the media in Accra yesterday, Dr. Adutwum, cataloguing several issues that point to the failure of the sector under the current minister, said: ‘’The flagship programme of the government, Free Senior High School (Free SHS) that was rolled out with high hopes is now in a shambles.’’
Mr. Kumah said that students in various boarding schools are hungry because of the poor food supply system that is prevailing currently.
‘’It is no secret that there is total confusion as far as the food supply system is concerned and the picketing by the suppliers alone should have informed the President that his “Darling Boy” was not on top of issues,’’ he said.
He said, ‘’Supply of textbooks to students in various SHSs has also become problematic and parents are spending huge sums of money on their wards to provide them with books and food under the watch of Dr. Adutwum.’’
Mr. Kumah said that he was not surprised at the position of the President, because of the self-praising gimmicks the minister engages himself in the media in recent days.
‘’As an educationist, I am confused with lots of things under the current education minister as he seems to be embarking on a populist agenda, especially with the STEM education,’’ he said.
Mr. Kumah explained that the STEM system is confusing as it does not have any clear-cut curriculum and questioned what happens to a student after he/she studies robotics at the second cycle level.
‘’I have been monitoring events and the speed with which STEM has been overhyped is extremely dangerous because it is not well thought through,’’ he said.
According to him, most of the things President Akufo-Addo spoke about in praising Dr. Adutwum took place in the past, under his predecessor.
‘’Not long ago the was the equipping of science laboratory in some SHSs, provision of chemicals and building of laboratories for selected schools, but that programme has ceased for good reasons known to the minister,’’ he noted.
Mr. Kumah said, ‘’It is my candid position that President Akufo-Addo got it wrong in claiming that Dr. Adutwum was one of his best appointees as we are presently witnessing the turbulent relationship between the ministry and various teacher unions in the country.’’
He believes that, ‘’The best appointee is the one who can jaw-jaw with stakeholders in various unions, instead of waiting for them to start agitations before the whole system comes in to deal with their grievances.’’
In a related development, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) says government is yet to fulfil the numerous promises made to teachers with the aim of addressing concerns regarding their conditions of service.
According to Thomas Musah, the general secretary of GNAT, the current conditions under which teachers are working, particularly in deprived areas, are nothing to write home about.
Speaking on the JoyNews AM Show on Friday, Mr. Musah stressed that the attitude of the government when it comes to challenges faced by teachers is not encouraging.