Laptops for teachers, a step in the right direction but a way of taxing teachers.

By | February 2, 2021

A few weeks ago, there has been news circulating on social media about government plans of distributing laptops to teachers to enable them to carry on with their duties successfully because the said laptops will be installed with teachers and learners resource pack, new curriculum both junior high school and primary level, annual and termly scheme of work, which think is a step in the right direction but also a way of taxing teachers to pay for what they have not budgeted for.

There is a statement which our source has sighted and it states that government is going to bear 70% of the cost whiles teachers are to take 30%. If the government indeed wants to help our teachers to digitize their work which is the main agenda of the government, why not the government distributing these laptops to these teachers for free but rather asking teachers to pay for part of these laptops? Is that what the government has been doing to other public sector workers to carry on with their duties? Though these laptops if distributed will make teachers’ work easy because it is going to facilitate their work. If the government really wants to help teachers then these laptops should be given to them for free and not asking them to pay part.

Our source has seen a situation where some government officials are stating that this initiative of government to distribute these laptops to teachers is in collaboration with the various teacher unions, what our teachers are not clear here is whether the teacher unions GNAT, NAGRAT, and CCTGH are also taking part in the 70% government promise to pay or they unions are only contributing ideas to the government on how to distribute these laptops. So, our teachers know according to news articles circulating that it is the only government that is paying 70% of these said laptops.

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If indeed the various teacher unions are only contributing ideas to the government in the initiative of distributing these laptops to teachers, then the teacher unions should pay 30% of the cost of these laptops on behalf of our teachers. Because it is the duties of the teacher unions to ensure that their members are comfortable in the course of their duties and these laptops are to help these teachers carry out their daily duties successfully, it shouldn’t be that because teachers are going to using these laptops in the course of their duties, they should be bearing the financial cost of this laptops.

The actual cost of these laptops which teachers are to pay part of 30% is not really known to them but they are required to fill a mandatory form for such laptops to be distributed, which think is a way of taxing teachers because if these said laptops price has gone under-inflation that means the teachers are to bear the cost of it, so teachers are demanding that the price of this laptops should be confirmed to them to help them know how to plan for it but not the government and those in charge of the distribution of this laptops just pushing it to teachers without actually letting them know what it entails in terms of price.

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