Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur has chastised heads of public schools for making unnecessary requests from government
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) said it is “disturbed by the insensitive comments of the Second Lady, Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, at a gathering of prominent chiefs and people of Kukurantumi in the Eastern region.”
The Headmistress of Kukurantumi Presby Primary School, Mrs. Juliet Oppong, while thanking the Second Lady for the presentation of five set of computers to the school, appealed to her (Second lady) to communicate to government to provide some basic materials such as log books for teachers and chalk which were in short supply in the school.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur in response said: “The Head teacher 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.
The NPP in a statement signed by its National Women Organiser said: “This genuine and harmless plea from the Headmistress received an unjustified backlash from the Second Lady, who prides herself as a Librarian with interest in child education.
“We do not want to believe that the Second Lady is ignorant of the plight of our schools and teachers across the country. Why did she go to donate computers, after all PTAs have been contributing in that area and many others? If providing chalk to schools is not a priority to Government then why is the NDC government making a huge fuss about providing free uniforms and shoes to students?”
“We need to get serious in this country about our priorities, especially our children and their education. These misplaced priorities and insensitive statements are a hindrance to the transformation of our society.”
It added: “The budget for the Ministry of Education is one of the biggest and it is so shameful and unacceptable that chalk should be in short supply or unavailable in any school. Unlike government officials, teachers do not take sitting allowances, they do not serve on Boards to get extra income, they buy their own fuel, and they solely depend on their ‘small’ salaries to keep their families together.
“Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur's comment that the provision of the school uniforms is "not by force" and that the teachers have been 'spoilt' vindicates the NPP’s position that the NDC government is insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“The poor BECE results, leakages, problems with teachers’ allowances and falling educational standards should be of great concern to the Second Lady and the government.
“Her choice of words, tone, demeanor and attitude is unbefitting of the Second lady and mother of Ghana. It is characteristic of NDC government officials to make insensitive remarks like "violence begets violence" as stated recently by the Minister of Interior about violence in the Talensi by-election. However, we expect motherly thoughtfulness and sensitivity at the least from a persona of her caliber.
“The NPP believes in the provision of FREE and quality Education with the teacher at the center to develop an efficient human resource for the transformation of our country. To achieve this, it is the priority of the government to ensure that basic educational materials including chalk are provided constantly to schools to ensure that teachers have the tools and enabling environment to teach.
“This is the most insensitive statement from a Second Lady and it is unacceptable, and on behalf of the good people of Ghana, the NPP would like to urge her to bring some dignity to the office she occupies and use the same platform to apologise to Ghanaians, particularly, the prominent chiefs and people of Kukurantumi.”