Adutwum Laptop Distribution Would Not Have Happened Under Two Centuries of NDC Misrule – Part 2

Feature Article Adutwum Laptop Distribution Would Not Have Happened Under Two Centuries of NDC Misrule – Part 2

What makes the historically and the seismically unprecedented decision by Education Minister Dr. Yaw Osei-Adutwum to distribute some 1.3 million computer laptops and tablets to Public Senior High School and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Students politically and pedagogically refreshing is that this most “creative” policy initiative – apologies to The Otumfuo of Dumsor, Yagbonwura Okogufuo Kwame Gonja – is actually based on the teaching and the managerial experience of the former California Charter Schools Superintendent right here in the United States of America, where Dr. Osei-Adutwum had distinguished himself and been duly recognized by his peers and professional associates and superiors (See “450,000 free student tablets ready for distribution next week – Dr Yaw Adutwum” 4/1/24).

So, it is not as if the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for the Bosomtwe Constituency, in the Asante Region, was cheaply and facilely seeking to score any electioneering-season related political points. He has actually pilot tested this pedagogically progressive initiative and concluded that this is the inevitable wave of the future, a “Green Future,” where textbooks and the very learning process of today’s youths would almost certainly and exclusively be centered on the Digital World of Computer Technology. It is also the kind of long-term capital investment in the future socioeconomic survival of our youths and one whose funding cannot be myopically and parochially diverted to the fiscally challenged School-Feeding Program, as some politically cynical and grossly misguided critics have suggested.

For this author’s most favorite Presidential Running-Mate for the 2024 Mahamudu Bawumia Presidential-Election Campaign, Dr. Osei-Adutwum could not have hit the proverbial nail better or more directly on its head, when the widely consulted public education expert of international fame and repute wittily observes that both the School-Feeding Program and the academic and the professional equipping and the intellectual enrichment of our youths are two sides of the same coin, and not a discretely selective or a mutually exclusive matter or case of an either or the other type of gamble. To the foregoing effect, the following was what a wholistically minded Dr. Osei-Adutwum recently had to say in response to Mr. Sampson Lardi Ayenini, host of the locally renowned current affairs Multimedia flagship Newsfile program:

“The idea is very simple. There are some people who would say ‘Use the money allocated for the computer laptops and tablets in providing food for these inadequately fed students.’ My emphatic answer and response is ‘No!’ You see, there is a difference between a budgetary allocation and a cash-flow allocation. So, even if I wanted to, the law would not allow me to tell GETFUND [the managers of the Ghana Education Trust Fund] that I need your money to buy food, instead of the tablets you have allocated funds for in your funding formula. So, there is a difference between a cash flow issue and a budgetary issue.”

Put into simple English, what Dr. Osei-Adutwum is saying here is that the School-Feeding Program may not be necessarily facing an acute shortage of funding but, rather, a logistical problem of administrative deficiency, whereby money earmarked for the latter program may be experiencing unnecessary bureaucratic red tape of a kind and/or a nature that ought not to be allowed to thwart or hamstring the smooth and the efficient administration of the GETFUND budgetary allocation. Instead, the managers and the administrators of the School-Feeding Program ought to promptly up their game or significantly improve the level and the quality of their management protocol of this equally most vital component of the nation’s public education system.

On the question of student discipline in the use of these computer laptops and tablets, the widely presumed Next Vice-President of Our Beloved Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana has assured concerned critics and parents that these state-of-the-art learning tools are fully equipped with Power Banks and Solar Panels that will enable students to go about their professional and academic training activities with little or no significant impact of Dumsor, the perennially erratic supply of electricity that has become a daunting challenge in the nation over the last couple of months.

Now, this is a forward-looking and a visionary world-class educator, something that can absolutely in no way be said of two-time Mahama Running-Mate Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, under whose watch, as Education Minister, the long-established Teacher-Trainee Allowances were rudely and summarily revoked, on grounds of acute shortage of taxpayer funds, even while a remarkable number of Mahama cabinet appointees were regularly drawing home double salaries. As well, University Professors and Lecturers were summarily stripped of their decades-long established Research Allowances by Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the extant Deputy Education Minister for Tertiary Affairs, who scandalously redesigned the criteria for the disbursement of the Professional Research Allowances for Public Tertiary Academy Faculty to include Card-Carrying Membership of the National Democratic Congress.

Under the new Tertiary Academy Faculty Research Allowance Regime, it was only forensically proven pedophiles and rapists like Prof. Ransford Yaw Gyampo, Courtesy of BBC-World News, the insufferably stiff-necked and blowhard University of Ghana’s political scientist and his colleagues, partners and associates in heinous sexual criminality, who best qualified for the newly redesigned Naana Opoku-Agyemang and Okudzeto-Ablakwa-managed Research Allowances. Already, as of this writing, Candidate-General John “Gnassingbe” Dramani Mahama had served advance notice to all who cared to listen that within a year of him being returned to Jubilee House, the Bole-Bamboi native, from the Akufo-Addo-created Savannah Region, intends to effectively and permanently scrap the Teacher- and Nurse-Trainee Allowances, and to ensure that these future healthcare and intellectual first responders took government and private bank loans, instead of being awarded scholarship grants to fund their education and tide themselves over. Yes, this is exactly how the narcissistic and the pathologically payola-prone Ghana’s Donald “John” Trump intends to “Correct His Past Mistakes.” And Ghanaian citizens and voters had better sit up!

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
April 6, 2024
E-mail: [email protected]