Source: myjoyonline.com - The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has cautioned wife of the Vice President, Matilda Amissah-Arthur to “listen more and talk less”.
This follows her controversial response to a request by the headmistress of the Kukurantumi Presbyterian Primary School for government to provide chalk to the school.
“The elderly say if you want to communicate something to God, you say it to the wind, we are therefore requesting of you to tell government to try and come to our aide with these things which are in short supply in the school,” the headmistress, Juliet Oppong asked.
Hoping that her plea through the Vice president’s wife will receive a rather swift response, she rather received perhaps the biggest scolding.
“The headteacher has shocked me…she said you lack chalk and log books...I am very shocked that you are today asking me about chalk...how much is a box of chalk…I won’t give you chalk today, I won’t give you chalk tomorrow” Matilda Amissah-Arthur said in an outburst.
These comments have sparked angry reactions from civil society groups and some members of the public.
Public Relations Officer of GNAT Peter Tetteh Korda says the vice president’s wife does not have the full appreciation of the plight of teachers.
In an interview with Joy News, the PRO said “the second lady actually goofed by saying that it should be the responsibility of teachers to provide chalk or buy chalk to teach the children.
“If you go to a certain environment and you’re not too familiar with the terrain, it is better to listen more and talk less otherwise you are likely to goof”, he added.
Mr Korda says most public schools in the country for some time now have lacked basic materials for teaching, yet nothing has been done about it.
“It is factual that there are so many schools...and I mean public schools in this country today that for three good terms, not a single chalk is provided for any teacher to work with”.
“GNAT has complained through the GES but because they do not have a budget and they rely on the Ministry of Education there is little they can do when the funds are not available”.
The opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP) has not only condemned Mrs Amissah-Arthur's comments but has also taken advantage of the situation to donate some materials to the schools.
Joy News’ Kofi Siaw reports that the party led by its Regional Chairman Kingston Kissi provided two large boxes of chalk, registers and some teaching materials to the school.
Regional Organiser of the party, Kwame Koduah says the donation is in response to the appeal made by the headmistress of the school when Mrs Amisssah Arthur visited the area.
The NPP’s Women’s Organiser Otiko Djaba says Mrs Amisssah Arthur’s comments are unfortunate.
She believes that there could have been a better way to respond to the request if indeed she was not going to provide the needed help.
“If you cannot give it, you don’t need to say I won’t give it today, I won’t give it tomorrow, what you should say is okay I’ve heard.
She believes that the first lady “owes the people of Kukurantumi and all parents and teachers an apology”.
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