A Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has revealed that government diverted furniture meant for another school in Techiman in Brong Ahafo region to Kperisi Basic School in the Upper West Region after it emerged that pupils in the school sit on bare floors to learn.
“We are currently distributing 57,020 furniture across the country. When the Kperisi case was brought to our attention, we were able to identify which supplier has furniture and it was in the Techiman area so we asked that it be sent to Kperisi,” he said.
The pictures of pupils in the school studying on the floor which went viral on social media ignited massive public outcry. This elicited a visit to the school by the Vice Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia who ordered about 500 desks for the school. But the government hurriedly supplied the desks, three days after Bawumia’s promise.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Mr. Ablakwa explained that the Wa Central District Assembly had commissioned a contractor to supply desks to the Kperisi School but it was delayed hence the resolve to divert from another school.
It’s normal to divert furniture “A contractor had already been commissioned to deliver furniture to Kperisi but the contractor was delaying. So because the Kpirisi issue was urgent we have diverted the furniture to Kperisi. When the Kpirisi furniture becomes ready in a few weeks, we will send it to Techiman.”
The Deputy Minister insisted that diverting furniture to places it was most needed is a normal thing in the sector.
“Only three weeks ago, furniture was supposed to be going to the Volta region but it was urgently required at the Latebiorkorshie area and so we sent it there. It’s normal; there is nothing political about this.”
The Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Rashid Pelpuo on Tuesday took a swipe at Dr. Bawumia for ordering desks for pupils of the Kperisi Basic School, describing the gesture as irresponsible.
Rashid Pelpuo who is also the Minister of State at the office of the President in-Charge of Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnership said Dr. Bawumia should have demonstrated that he could “put the government on its toes, he should not play to the gallery. He should not pretend that money is in the pocket of politicians and we go around with it and we doll out to people. He did not show a clear example of a good leader.”
“He didn’t also show that he can take government on. The government is represented by the city authorities, the mayor or the chief executives of those areas. So if you go there and you find out that there is something wrong, talk to them, let the journalists follow you, show responsibility, he didn’t show any of that. What he said was that I’m going to get money for you, I’m going to get you 500 furniture is a lot of irresponsibility,” he argued.