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Opinions of Monday, 28 February 2022

Columnist: Godwin Mahama

A letter to our teacher unions, Re: government's E-Levy town-hall meeting in the western region

An active classroom session An active classroom session

The downright disrespectful comments from government officials towards the people in the noble pen profession must come to an abrupt stop now. It’s quite unfortunate and disrespectful to watch a government with so many promises to a profession, continue to do things that render them impoverished with its insensitive policies, and mismanagement of the economy.

Petrol sells at 7.9gh per litre today, prices of goods and service keep galloping at every second, transport fares are up the roof, and inflation now at 13.9% is testament to the disastrous manner Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have handled the economy.

Hardship, in the country, keeps heightening like Usain-Bolt and the same government that promised Ghanaians heaven in the last two elections has decided not to increase salaries of such workers to mitigate the hardship.

The government is rather hell-bent on introducing an absolutely obnoxious and thievery tax that will compound the woes of the Ghanaian who is already suffocating under the mismanagement of the economy.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, barely a year ago, stood on a public platform and told teachers in this country that the teaching profession is the wrong profession for any Ghanaian who wants to get rich.

This statement smacks of sheer disrespect to the profession by the persons who was entrusted with the rulership of the country to make life comfortable for all persons including teachers.

Unsurprisingly, this statement has emboldened some of his appointees with the latest of such disciples being the Western Regional Minister.

On February 2, 2022, government gathered citizens in the Western Region, in the name of Town-Hall meeting with the aim to sensitise them on the need to welcome the expropriation and thievery tax christened 'E-Levy'.

In that Town-Hall meeting, the Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah sought to describe our noble teachers as poor and for that matter, are exempted from the 1.75% E-Levy.

In a desperate move to get the buy-in of teachers and the general public on the E-Levy, the Minister made a very lame and baseless attempt to describe who a poor person is. His ill-informed logic was that, because teachers are poor, it is impossible for them to send GHC100 on momo and are therefore exempted from the E-ley.

It has been over two(2) weeks and not even an ant in the profession has taken the pain to do a critical analysis of the comment and call on the Minister to retract and apologize to our hardworking teachers.

I call on the teacher unions; GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT, TEWU, etc to revisit the said video, listen, and do a critical analysis of it. After the exercise, they should publicly call the Minister to order and demand immediate retraction and apology for the gross disrespect shown to our noble profession. They deserve better than what the government and its appointees are putting them through. This act is becoming one too many and it’s high time the unions put their foot down to uphold the integrity of the profession.

As powerful as the pen is, so is the teaching profession and should not be left to become a laughing stock.