In a recent development, Gifty Twum-Ampofo, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET), has issued an apology to teachers for remarks that were perceived as offensive. The comments, made during a speech at the 175th anniversary of the Akropong Presbyterian College in the Eastern Region, caused a stir within the teaching fraternity.
Twum-Ampofo was reported to have attributed the struggling economy to teachers, stating, “Research has proved that a country’s Gross Tertiary Enrollment has a lot to do with the GDP of the country. The performance of the economy depends on the Gross Tertiary Enrollment. So the teacher is to be blamed for the poor economy, not the Finance Minister.”
Although she acknowledged making the statement, the Abuakwa North Member of Parliament (MP) clarified that it was an offhand remark and not intended to undermine the efforts of teachers. She expressed her deep respect for educators, emphasizing her own background as a teacher and affirming that she values the teaching profession.
During an interview on TV3’s New Day, Twum-Ampofo expressed her regret for any hurt caused by her words and assured the public that she would never intentionally harm anyone through her speech. She stated, “I can’t hurt teachers, and as a Christian, if you do something or you say something, you don’t mean to hurt anybody, so if the people are hurt, I am sorry.”
The Deputy Minister’s apology seeks to address the concerns raised by teachers who felt slighted by her comments. By acknowledging her mistake and expressing remorse, she aims to mend any rift caused by her words and reaffirm her support for the teaching community.
As the situation unfolds, it remains crucial for constructive dialogue to take place between education policymakers and teachers to foster understanding and collaboration in working towards the common goal of providing quality education for all Ghanaian students.