The Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG) has outlined some key reasons for which the teacher trainees allowance must not be cancelled.
For sometimes now, the debate as to whether government should continue paying teacher trainees and nursing trainees allowances has become a topical issue for discussion.
Some communicators believe that, the trainees allowances have outlived its purpose, hence the need to cancel it while others say otherwise.
Addressing delegates from the forty-six (46) Accredited Public Colleges of Education at the grand durbar of the 26th General Assembly of TTAG held at St. Francis College of Education, Hohoe on Friday, 22nd July, 2022, the National President of TTAG Mr. Jonathan Dzunu said, it will not be fair to cancel the teacher trainees allowance.
According to him, looking at the current economic hardship in the country, you can imagine the difficulty students are going through, life on campus without allowance has become very unbearable for teacher trainees as payment of the allowance is delayed.
Jonathan Dzunu said, they, as an Association are perfectly aware of the current economic and financial crisis in the nation. Nonetheless, the innocent teacher trainee should not be used as a sacrificial lamb.
Mr. Dzunu noted that, it’s prudent for the government to continue the payment of the allowance though, there are delays in disbursement of the trainees allowances by the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
He urged government to, as a matter of urgency disburse the outstanding seven (7) months allowances to students.
The TTAG President explained that, the colossal delay in payment of allowances is going to send the clock backwards and the little successes chalked as a result of the implementation of the teacher trainee allowance whittled away taking into consideration the historical antecedent that led to the implementation of the allowance scheme and the positive effect it has had on teacher education in particular and basic education in general over the years.
He believes that, quality teacher education can help turn the economic fortunes of this nation, hence, there’s a need to prioritize quality education and professionalism of the teacher trainees.
Jonathan Dzunu has therefore appeals passionately that, utmost priority should be attached to the payment of teacher trainees’ allowance on the premise that:
1. The scheme was instituted to serve as motivation and attraction to students with the passion to teach despite the fact that it is the under-paid profession.
2. The allowance has served as a poverty alleviation intervention over the years in the sense that, families who cannot afford the exorbitant fees of other tertiary institutions in the country have had a last resort to send their wards to colleges of education in their bid to have their lives transformed and made better by these wards.
A lot of poor families save for a long time and some even sell family lands and other valuable properties in an attempt to pay the high admission fees of the Colleges but with an assurance that the allowance would later cushion their wards to complete the colleges successfully.
3. Teacher trainees depend greatly on the allowance for their teaching and learning materials, feeding, examination fees, hand-outs, among others.
4. The allowance as well cushion teacher trainees undergoing teaching practice in basic schools within surrounding communities of the colleges to pay for their accomodation, utility bills, just to mention but a few.