”Ghana’s Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, aka NAPO, a Dentist by profession, will no doubt go down in history as the most intolerant, clueless, egoistic, slanderous, abrasive, intimidating and vindictive Minister in Ghana since independence.”
”He has also won the unenviable record of being the most impulse-driven Minister with dwarfed knowledge and skills in policy implementation.”He said.
”NAPO knows no limit when it comes to slandering and insulting people holding alternative views to his. His intent no doubt is to intimidate and put fear in people who disagree with him in order to silence them.” He said.
”The latest of Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s slander and lies were contained in a video in circulation in which he accused me of poor performance while I was Headmaster, and of criminality while, as he put it, I was attending school.”
”In another interview on a Kumasi based Pure FM station, and carried by Ghana web on Wednesday 11th March 2020, NAPO again attempted to run down his Predecessor Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang.”
”But before I tackle the lies and slander in the video, let me recount some of the antecedents of this Marauder called Matthew Opoku Prempeh aka NAPO.”
Mr. Kwame Alorvi, former President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh (NAPO) has shown his INTIMIDATION AND VICTIMIZATION attitude in issues concerning
INTIMIDATION AND VICTIMIZATION
a) La Presec:
One of the first victims of NAPO’s deadly vindictive axe was the Headmaster of La Presec, Mr Salamat. He was removed from office in September 2017 by NAPO.
The headmaster’s “crime” was how he convinced parents to assist in providing writing tables and chairs for the first batch of the free SHS students whom Opoku Prempeh as Minister, had placed in La Presec without any thought of where they would sit to learn.
The furniture parents willingly provided for which the Headmaster was sacked, are still in the school being used anyway.
b). Wesley Girls High School Headmistress.
At one of the hurriedly arranged meetings with Heads of Senior High Schools in the Assembly Hall of the Kumasi Anglican SHS prior to the implementation of the free SHS, NAPO ordered the widely respected Headmistress of Wesley Girls SHS to stand up.
The Headmistress obediently obliged. NAPO then strangely went berserk to embarrass the Headmistress with uncomplimentary words as she stood on her feet with hands at her back.
Her crime was her school consistently producing excellent results at the WASSCE. NAPO questioned why the Headmistress should be feeling proud of good results when her school always admitted the cream of the BECE graduates.
He ended by telling the Headmistress that he was going to place aggregate 40 students in her school to see if her school would still produce good results.
”A colleague teacher told me that the current Headmistress of Wesley Girls SHS also suffered similar embarrassment from NAPO at a meeting with CHASS held in Adisadel College, Cape Coast as she was made to rise up just like her predecessor to receive verbal bashings from NAPO.”
c) GES Headquarters IPPD Coordinator
At a similar engagement with the GES IPPD Coordinators in Kumasi Anglican SHS, NAPO ignorantly accused the coordinators of taking bribes from teachers before taking them through biometric registration for payment of their salaries.
The GES National IPPD Coordinator was asked by the then Chief Director of the MoE to clear the air, having realized that the Minister was not factual with his comment.
The Coordinator wasted no time in exposing the ignorance of the Minister by explaining that biometric registration of teachers was done at the Ministry of Finance, not at the GES, and so if any bribe was taken as the Minister alleged, it was taken at the Ministry of Finance and not at the GES.
This response, of course, received a thunderous applause from the IPPD Coordinators at the meeting.
The Deputy Director-General of the GES summoned the IPPD Coordinator outside the Assembly Hall and told him to prepare for transfer for embarrassing the Minister.
This threat was carried out and just a day after reporting from Kumasi to Accra the IPPD Coordinator was removed from his position and asked to immediately vacate his official accommodation.
He was then posted to Aburi as a classroom teacher under NAPO’s instructions.
Clearly, the Chief Director innocently led the Coordinator into temptation but couldn’t deliver him from evil.
d) Adisadel College Headmaster.
The then vibrant Headmaster of Adisadel College, William Kusi Yeboah too tasted the bitter pill of removal from office by NAPO.
His crime was allowing teachers from his school to organise remedial classes for double-track students in an abandoned building at the northern entrance of the school.
The posters advertising the remedial classes at the school gate were pulled down under the instruction of the Minister.
Interventions by the Board Chairman of Adisco and the Anglican Bishop of Sekondi against the removal of the Headmaster could not stop the venom of NAPO.
The Headmaster was branded as not being one of us by NAPO. He was replaced just before the School’s Speech Day at which the President of the Republic was made to direct the Board and the Anglican Church to respect the disciplinary authority of the MoE and GES on the matter.
With that call by the President of the Republic, all actions against his removal weakened, and the Headmaster was removed and transferred to Kumasi.
e) Other Headmasters
Headmaster of Aggrey Memorial Zion SHS in Cape Coast was removed in 2019 and transferred to Sekondi by NAPO for granting boarding status to two adolescent girls posted from Accra to his school as Day Students.
The Head of an SHS in Krobo area in the Eastern Region was also transferred to Afram Plains as punishment under bizarre circumstances.
The Headmaster of Ningo SHS was also recently threatened with dismissal for allowing media men to broadcast news of students sitting on the floor to attend classes.
Earlier, many Basic School Headteachers in Greater Accra were demoted and posted to the classroom to teach. Their offence was the collection of exam fees through their PTAs to print terminal exam questions for their pupils when GES/MoE failed to give them their capitation grants for the whole academic year to print the questions.
Perhaps one more example will suffice for the time being.
f) Pentecost SHS, Koforidua
The Assistant Headmaster (Administration) of Pentecost SHS in Koforidua was among the latest number of teachers that have suffered victimization under NAPO.
The teacher, who is also a District GNAT Official, was accused of making statements during the teachers strike in 2019 which the Minister was not pleased with.
For his punishment, and as a warning to other teachers and union leaders, the Assistant Headmaster has callously been separated from his wife and children and posted to a Senior High School in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region.
Protests by GNAT were ignored.
NAPO has thus become a hurricane, destroying everything in its path and leaving destruction behind.
Speaking on his alleged Intolerance , insults and Slandering of People, Kwame Alorvi made these revelations about the Minister.
1. His Predecessor
”It is on record that soon after assuming office as Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh on many occasions slandered, and continues to slander his predecessor, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, an accomplished Educationist and the first female Vice-Chancellor of a University in Ghana, whose educational achievements traverse the borders of Africa.”
”NAPO must know for a fact that Prof Jane Opoku Agyemang has carved a niche for herself as a proactive Minister of Education.”
”She is placed very high and acknowledged internationally as one of Africa’s best Ministers of Education. I wonder if NAPO is not having an inferiority complex.”
”Who is Matthew Opoku Prempeh as Minister of Education without Dr. Yaw Adutwum doing the thinking and the work? When the Kenyans wanted to know about NAPO’s green-gold traffic light or double track, was it not Dr Adutwum that went? Where was NAPO?
I will tackle later a comparison between Dentist Matthew and Educationist Jane.” He indicated.
2. University Professors
Other accomplished University Professors, including a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. George K. T. Oduro were not spared of the insults and slander by NAPO for suggesting among other things, a one year delay in the commencement of the free SHS implementation to allow for proper planning.
Many more of such Professors in UCC, UG, UEW, KNUST and UDS, are put under strict surveillance by NAPO and are not even allowed to participate in educational conferences including those even organised by outside bodies.
Their movements in and outside their respective Universities are under strict monitoring by NAPO.
3. Former President
Ghanaians have also not forgotten about the slandering of former President John Mahama by NAPO who accused him of bussing BECE graduates and their parents to the Independence Square during NAPO’s chaotic handling of the 2019 placement of BECE graduates under the CSSPS.
4. Teachers with Professional Certificates
Teachers recount with shock the insults rained by Matthew Opoku Prempeh on holders of professional Diploma certificate that they enter College with the worst grades and are not fit to be employed in the GES.
NAPO asked the host of the program if he would not choose a University graduate in place of a holder of Diploma Certificate from a College of Education when he had a school to run.
This was in spite of the fact that some of the teachers that made NAPO what he is today were Certificate ‘A’ holders, not even teachers with Diploma.
”No doubt, NAPO is waiting for the unlikely event of his party winning the 2020 elections to abolish study leave with pay for these Diploma holding teachers”
- ”The most recent lies and slander by NAPO was against me. In a video in circulation NAPO falsely accused me of: a) Poor performance while heading J. E. Atta Mills SHS in Ekumfi Otuam. b) Engaging in criminal acts while I was attending school.”
”NAPO’s outburst was in response to my strongly held position that it was unwise to supply SHS3 students with marking schemes/Chief Examiners Reports and past questions at this late hour, and that those materials were meant for teachers to use in guiding their students.”’
”NAPO claimed in the video (speaking Twi), that *J. E. Atta Mills SHS was handed over to me with 400 students but at the time he took me off the school it was only 17 (seventeen) students remaining. What a fat lie!”
”NAPO, as Minister was too ignorant to even know that I was the Pioneer or Founding Headmaster of J. E. Atta Mills SHS and that no students were handed over to me. When I was introduced at the commissioning of the school on 17th September 2015 by H. E. John Dramani Mahama as first Headmaster of the school, he charged me in these words:
“Kwami, I was told you are a planter of schools. Plant this school in honour of Professor Mills.”
” I’m happy to have led a group of young teachers (supported by non-teaching staff), most of whom were just from the University and had no prior experience of teaching in the SHS, to fulfil the charge given us by H. E. John Mahama.”
”My introduction by J. M. at the ceremony followed the conclusion of discussions held by the GES/MoE with me and the Central Regional CHASS Chairman on if I would accept the challenge. I accepted this as an added responsibility to my Headship of Obrachire SHTS. Then after my retirement in December 2015, I moved to J. E. A. Mills SHS on post-retirement engagement from 1st January 2016 approved by the Public Services Commission.”
”NAPO is ignorant about the fact that I, together with the Ekumfi District GES Directorate and the Assembly had to comb Ekumfi and its environs to enrol students because the new school was not on the CSSPS list of the GES.”
”Clearly then, I assumed the responsibility of the new school with not even a single student.
And if NAPO is minded to find out from the then Ekumfi NPP Constituency Secretary he personally imposed on the GES (after his earlier rejection for not being qualified) as Acting Headmaster to replace me, and who is still at post as Acting Head, he would have gotten the real facts and saved himself from this uninformed comment.”
”Indeed if the lying Minister had checked pages 9 & 13 of my Handing-Over Notes to the Acting Headmaster, copies of which are with the GES, he would have seen these enrolment figures at the time I handed over:
”NAPO would have also found out from the same handing over notes jointly signed by me, the Acting Headmaster, the Outgoing Accountant, Incoming Accountant and the Regional Internal Auditor if he cared, that after my two years and one month in that school as Headmaster, and with the support of my hardworking teachers, I left the following records:
a) Ghc90,148.89 in the bank accounts of the school.
b) Stationery worth Ghc15,688.50 in value in the Store for his FSHS students.
c) Constructed a Sports Field for the new school d) Got WAEC Examination centre for the school in 2017.”
”It is heartwarming that one of the pioneer batch of 211 students that wrote the 2018 WASSCE in the school obtained 5 A1s, a B2, a B3 and a C5. He is now pursuing his first-degree program at the University of Ghana, Legon, with another female student. The first Head Perfect of the School is also studying at UCC. So if 211 students wrote the WASSCE in 2018, where is NAPO’s 17 students he claimed I left behind coming from? From his ignorant mind?”
e) Paid all utility bills and creditors from Mahama’s Progressively Free SHS subsidies*. No debt was left in the school before I handed over.
”NAPO should check the huge water and light bills his free SHS has accumulated in J. E. A. Mills SHS since I left the school on 7th February 2018.”
f) We had to give out the notebooks and exercise books I procured for Mahama’s Progressively Free Students and customised in the name of J. E. Atta. Mills SHS to NAPO’s first batch of free SHS students free of charge because NAPO failed to supply them with those books for the whole of the first term of the 2017/2018 academic year. Without this intervention, NAPO’s students would not have been able to do any meaningful academic work.
g) Organised a vibrant PTA with executives elected just six months after the school was commissioned by H. E. John Mahama.
h) A Governing Board was duly constituted which would have been inaugurated on 22nd February 2018 if I hadn’t left the school on 7th February. That Board has still not been inaugurated since I left the school.
i) Interviewed and recruited the teaching and non-teaching staff for the school. Did I hear NAPO say Prof did not recruit any teacher during her tenure? I did recruit teachers for the new school when Prof was Minister.
j) I personally designed the School Crest, chose the colours and fabric of the school uniform, procured and supplied them to students in October 2015, even before Government subsidies were released to the school.
Clearly, the above splendid records chalked within a period of 25 months by me and my hardworking teachers contradict Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s assessment of me as a failed Headmaster and expose the huge credibility deficit he carries as a Minister in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana.
The GES still owes me nine (9) months salary for work done at the school as Headmaster. Sixteen (16) visits by me to the GES in Accra and a letter from my Counsel to the Minister NAPO and GES Director-General on the salary issue are even yet to receive a response from the two officials.
”Opoku Prempeh also accused me of engaging in criminal acts with students when I was attending school. I attended Presby Primary and Middle schools in my hometown, Jasikan Training College and University of Cape Coast. NAPO should indicate in which of these schools I committed any crime.”
”My initial intention was to sue Opoku Prempeh for libel. Advice received from lawyers, political analysts, colleague teachers, friends and family members, however, point to the fact that I would not get the justice I would be looking for. Matthew Opoku Prempeh wields a huge political power and controls huge financial resources including our taxes, which he could use to manipulate the judicial process to frustrate me.”
”I balanced these pieces of advice against a case I filed in court in Cape Coast in 2015. Though the case was ruled in my favour, it took 21 months to obtain justice.”
”In February 2020, I observed another case in a Winneba High Court where the MP of Efutu filed a case against the EC and an elected Assemblyman. The MP who is the petitioner failed to come to court on two consecutive occasions that the case was called. I witnessed similar frustrating adjournments in an Accra High Court in 2019. These hard facts gave me the realization that I should listen to good counsel.”
”So I don’t have the luxury of time, money and energy to waste on a case NAPO is certain to manipulate with his political power and money.”
One political analyst put the matter more succinctly when he said:
Kwami, you don’t glorify a pig by bathing him. Take a pig from the mud and wash him clean, it will still go back to the mud because that is where it derives its pleasure.
My message to Matthew Opoku Prempeh, therefore, is simple:
Crime is not a matter for the Media. By your training and the position you occupy, you know where to send criminal cases to. Luckily for you, crime has no expiry date. So whether your alleged crime was committed while I was attending school, or while working in the GES, you know or should know, where to go.
In conclusion, I urge Matthew Opoku Prempeh to direct his efforts at addressing the numerous challenges bedevilling our education system and stop the insults, slandering intimidation, and victimization of teachers and other prominent Educationists.
Dated Friday 13th March 2020