(From L - R) Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister; Kwame Agbodza, Minority Chief Whip; Dr. Bawumia, Veep; Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Education Minister
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Government’s free tablets distribution policy to Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country could hit a snag following a hint from the Minority to institute probe into the GH₵1.2 billion contract.

The Minority says the contract that was unilaterally approved without parliamentary consent is a ploy to woo senior high school (SHSs) students to vote for the governing New Patriotic Party in the 2024 general elections.

At a media engagement in Parliament Monday, July 24, 2023, Minority Chief Whip, Governs Kwame Agbodza, indicated the policy’s exclusion of basic school pupils and students at the tertiary level to target only the SHSs is nothing but a mechanism to serve government’s parochial interest.

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“Once again, government’s thinking of their own parochial interest of thinking that they can influence SHS students during voting so you can ignore basic schools, you can ignore universities and basically say that we are giving tablets to secondary school students because they may be able to vote,” he said.

Mr. Agbodza indicated further that the sum involved in the contract is so huge an amount that Parliament was going to investigate to ascertain whether due process was followed in awarding the contract or not.

“And do you think that the expenditure of GH₵1.2billion is a huge amount that can do something for this country.

“Parliament is going to institute the necessary motions to call for a probe into these acts of the supply of the tablets which details are shrouded or known to only the education minister and the government because this is not the best way to run a transparent government.”

The Member of Parliament for Adaklu also alleged that “there is no record that the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance went through any competitive tendering process to select the manufacturer and the person who would produce these things for the distribution of the schools. All we hear is that there is an amount of money set aside in the GETFund formula to be used to pay this.”

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The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, during his address at the opening of the 2023 Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) on January 17, 2023, at the University of Ghana, Legon, announced that the government will distribute free electronic tablets to all Senior High Schools this year.

According to him, the initiative, together with the implementation of free WI-FI at SHSs across the country, was part of the government’s ongoing digitisation agenda.

He said the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, had informed him that the country was on course to provide the tablets which will come pre-loaded with textbooks and past examination questions.

“This year, we are on course to provide all Senior High School students in Ghana with tablets which are loaded with textbooks on them for their studies. That’s a very game-changing development. We will have past questions preloaded on these tablets that will be distributed to all and I pray that it does come to pass this year…,” Dr Bawumia said

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