Education Ministry has not awarded contract for new JHS uniforms

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The Ministry of Education has rubbished claims that the Sector Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh has awarded a $350 million contract to supply new school uniforms for junior high school (JHS) students to a relative.

In a statement released Friday and signed by Kwasi Obeng-Fosu, the Deputy Communications Director at the Ministry of Education, he stated that the story should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

The reaction follows reports on Thursday that the Minister who is also the Manhyia South Member of Parliament (MP) had awarded a $350m contract to supply the new school uniforms for JHS pupils launched by the Ghana Education Service (GES) on Thursday.

The Director General of the Ghana Education Service on Thursday announced reforms to the current educational system including replacing the existing primary school curriculum and introducing new uniforms for JHS pupils.

The introduction of the school uniform is a psychological strategy to make the pupils see themselves as part of the High School education system rather than the primary, the Education authorities have said.

The allegation on the award of the contract to a relative of the Sector Minister has been described as an attempt to smear Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh.

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Checks at the GES have confirmed that there is no contract for the production or supply of the new uniform the government intends offering to JHS students.

Some reports earlier suggested the Education Minister had awarded the contract for the uniform to his son by name Ebenezer Opoku Prempeh at the cost of $350million.

The said contract sum quoted by the perpetrators of the allegation according to close aides of the minister is a “grubby agenda and even laughable because”

Checks have also confirmed that the minister has no son who has attained the age to execute the contract and does not even have any relative by name Ebenezer Opoku Prempeh.

There are other reports also suggesting that the Minister did not award the contract to his son but to nephew.

Lawyer Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo gave credence to the allegation in a Facebook post.

The post reads “You registered a company on the 3rd of April, 2019 and won a government contract of $350million on the 10th of April, 2019? And the owner is the nephew of the education minister.

But Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the stories are untrue.

He said the news making the rounds on social media was without merit and the figment of someone’s imagination, designed to cause disaffection towards him.

The Minister stated categorically that he has no relative by the name Ebenezer Opoku Prempeh who was variously referred to as his brother, son and nephew in a story on social media.

Introduction of new uniform

The Director General of the Ghana Education (GES) announced the introduction of new school uniforms for Junior High School (JHS) pupils.

Addressing the media last Thursday, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said the introduction of the uniform to pupils of JHS was a psychological strategy to make the pupils see themselves as part of the Senior High School (SHS) education system rather than the JHS.

“When you go to other countries and you finish primary school, you exit straight into secondary school; junior secondary or senior secondary is part of entire secondary education,” he explained.

He said: “In our case, our structure is such that JHS students are part of the primary school so they tend to see themselves as primary school pupils but the idea of the introduction of these uniforms is to let them see themselves as secondary school students.”