The debate on the cancellation of Allowances for Colleges of Education students and Nursing Colleges students in Ghana has become a topical issue among the two major political parties thus; the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Some people say, the NPP triggered the plans leading to the cancellation of the allowances before the NDC resumes power under the late Prof. Atta-Mills-John Mahama regime. Others opposed the claim saying, the allowance was totally cancelled by former President John Dramani Mahama’s regime at the time Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang was the Education Minister.
In a contrary view, the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has uncovered the brain behind the cancellation of the controversial Teacher Trainees and Nurses Trainees Allowances.
In a press statement issued by the Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) Mr. Mensah Thompson, has outlined the exact engagement leading to the cancellation of the allowances.
According to ASEPA, “In 2002 President John Agyekum Kuffuor Commissioned an Educational Reform Committee headed by the Former Vice Chancellor of University of Education, Prof. Jophus Anamoah-Mensah.”
They added that, “the Committee made a number of recommendations which was duly accepted by the President including the popular four years SHS system.”
Also, In 2008 as part of the second phase of the implementation of the Jophus Anamoah-Mensah Committee Report, President Kuffuor issued a White Paper on Education Reforms.
In addition to that, Mr. Mensah Thompson said, “As part of the reforms on Emoluments, the White paper observed that wages and in the case of trainee teachers allowances posed a huge burden and impediment in the training of more teachers and to reduce the Pupil-Teacher ratio in our public schools.”
Further more, ASEPA reveals that, “the White paper therefore made provisions for the total cancellation of the Teacher Trainee Allowance for first year teacher trainee students in 2009 and the subsequent facing out of allowances for Continuing students.”
Explaining explicitly, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability noted that, “the White Paper also made provisions for the Trainees who would be taken off the allowance to access students loans to facilitate their studies.”
“This White Paper therefore settles the debate on trainee allowance that the idea to replace teacher trainee allowance with students loan was never the decision of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang but that of the White Paper issued by President Kufuor and the NPP on the Prof. Jophus Anamoah-Mensah Commitee on Education Reforms.” He clarified.
In conclusion, he added that, that the Policy in itself was the only way more teachers could be trained to replace the ever growing number of pupil teachers in our schools at the time.