1S1T: I Don't Have Time for Political Gimmicks - Education Minister 'Fires' Critics

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education has said the assertion that his government is issuing free tablets to solicit for votes in the upcoming general elections is untrue.

Speaking on Peace FM’s 'Kokrokoo' Morning Show on April 18, Dr. Adutwum highlighted the need to champion the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme launched by the Akufo-Addo government.

According to the Education Minister, the learning of computers and its related disciplines should be encouraged by every Ghanaian irrespective of the political divide, with reason being that, the world is moving towards digitalisation to perform a lot of tasks; adding that the students can only develop the requisite skills when they are exposed to the devices.

The government through the Ministry of Education has launched the one student one tablet education policy. This policy is meant to give every student a free tablet to facilitate teaching and learning in the senior high school levels.

However, the opposition party, National Democratic Congress and the party’s flagbearer, John Mahama, criticised the ministry as well as the government for using the free tablets to get the students to vote for the New Patriotic Party in the upcoming December elections.

However, the Education Minister during the radio interview shared a different opinion. In his view, the tablets shared are not for political gains.

"We are in the fourth industrialized revolution. In this era, there is a combination of biological and electrical applications where individual body parts are used to operate doors, machines, start car engines, machines and other devices. When you go to schools, robots are developed to interact with students. That is the era in which we are."

"Countries are running towards this style of education to transform their world. Every country that is developed now embraced the introduction of computers and its related skills in their educational system.

"So this innovation is not for political gimmicks. I don’t have time for political gimmicks. Where God has brought me and the work I have done so far through the government led by the Nana Akufo-Addo, I don’t think I have to do this to score political points," he reiterated.

The minister further underscored the need to decouple politics from education, adding that, such an attempt will plunge the country’s beautiful educational sector into jeopardy.

He, therefore, urged all Ghanaians to be critical consumers of political communication.

He further added that, "the communication ongoing on our airwaves should be scrutinised thoroughly. Ghanaians should be careful in order not to be deceived by any politician who claims his government will do better when he comes into power."

"The future of this country will be very beautiful. We don’t improve our educational sector because of politics. We don’t build STEM schools because of politics. When we give computers to students, we don’t do these because of politics. When we teach children to use computers to study, we don’t do it because of politics,’’ he added.