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General News of Saturday, 21 September 2019

Source: XYZ

Textile workers condemn Napo over new school uniform claim

The Textile, Garment and Leather Employees’ Union (TGLEU) has accused the Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh of undermining the role of the Textiles industry in the country.

The Union believes the minister’s posture is encouraging textile piracy in the country to the detriment of local industries.

The Minister is said to have defended the importation of Chinese fabrics to be used as new school uniform for Junior High Schools, a decision the Textiles workers have kicked against in the past.

In a statement signed by General Secretary of TGLEU, Mr. Abraham Koomson, the Minister for Education said on Accra-based Asempa FM that the local textile industries “had declined to accept government order to produce the type of cloth for the school uniforms because of lack of appropriate plant installations.”

Condemning the Minister, Mr koomson said Dr Opoku Prempeh displyed “extreme ignorance” about the number of Textiles Manufacturing Companies in the country and the implication of illegal activities which to them, includes the importation of the new uniform, that will end up collapsing the local textiles industries.

The Union believes the Minister is encouraging piracy and if care is not taken, the remaining few manufacturing companies will collapse like Spintex, Tema Textile Limited and lead to huge job loses in the country.

Save Ghana’s textile industry with new JHS uniform

Last month, the group warned the government not to import the new school uniform, explaining that the move will have a negative effect on the local textiles industry and bring about job loses.

The General Secretary of the Textiles Workers Union, Abraham Koomson, in an interview on Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM noted that the textiles industry will do better if the government gives the contract to the local companies to manufacture the fabrics for the new government-approved uniform for the pupils.

Mr Koomson said it had come to their notice that a contract had been awarded to import the fabrics into the country for the 2019/2020 academic although the Ghana Education Service (GES) had denied the claim.

“The local industries are struggling so much that if we are given contracts to manufacture such fabrics, it will help revive the industry,” Mr. Koomson stated as he bemoaned the government’s failure to clamp down on piracy in the country.

To him, the importation of fabrics as new uniform for JHS students defeats government’s claim of reviving local industries and sustainable jobs for the youth, stressing that “unemployment will soar when such a contract are given to foreign firms.”

“We keep fighting the piracy of African prints which is all over yet the government wants to give the manufacturing of JHS students’ uniform to some foreign companies. It doesn’t make sense because the local textile industries are on the verge of collapsing,” he added.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) announced last April the introduction of a new school uniform for JHS students. Students are expected to start wearing the new school uniform from this 2019/2020 academic year.

Below is the statement: