Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch has questioned the Ministry of Education’s justification for the teacher trainees’ allowances.
According to him, the Ministry of Education said the trainees’ allowances was to motivate trainees to accept posting into deprived areas.
Asare opined that, after decades of implementing the policy, as of 2020, basic schools in deprived areas still lack teachers whiles endowed municipalities still have surplus teachers.
In his statement, he compared the number of basic schools and teachers in the Adenta Municipality to that of Zabzugu, where he indicated that, Adenta Municipal with only 18 primary schools had a total of 364 teachers while a deprived area like Zabzugu with 55 primary schools had only 260 teachers.
The issue of the teacher trainees’ allowances became a topic for discussion after the Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) indicated that, trainees would have to feed for themselves, following government’s failure to pay the allowances.
The Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Adutwum in reaction to the concern raised by PRINCOF, indicated that an amount of over GH¢67m has been released to the Colleges.
Kofi Asare among others believes the trainees allowances has outlived it’s relevance, hence should be cancelled and replaced with an opportunity for teacher trainees to access student loans.
The Africa Education Watch executive director further indicated that, there were over 2,000 primary school classrooms without teachers in the 75 deprived districts while surplus of about 15,000 teachers remained in the endowed municipalities, with two handling a class in some urban schools.
Asare further suggested that, the trainees allowances should be converted into a deprived teaching allowance enjoyable by only teachers who accept postings to deprived communities since the GH¢400.00 per month allowance is about 20% of a Principal Superintendent’s salary.
According to him, teacher trainees who would be posted to Tamale and Koforidua will enjoy the allowance, even though these are not deprived districts.