18 February 2014

Ghana: Teacher Training Still Crying Over Withdrawal of Allowance

Trainees of Colleges of Education have threatened to use all means possible to compel government to reintroduce the teacher trainee allowance that has been scraped and replaced with student loan scheme.

According to them, the allowance motivates and attracts individuals, especially Senior High School leavers to opt for colleges of Education and also aid them to pay their tuition fees. To the president of the Eastern and Greater Accra (EGA) sector of Teacher Trainees' Association, Mr. Jacob Ladzekpo, the policy makes the Colleges of Education unattractive.

The Trainees expressed the sentiment during their 19th Annual General Assembly meeting held in Accra recently under the theme: "the Re-introduction of the Teacher Trainee allowance ; a solid foundation for quality teacher education."

Mr. Ladzekpo said the colleges are almost in the end of the first semester but they have not been able to access the student loan scheme.

Members of the Ghana Trainees' Association of Ghana (TTAG) promised to use dialogue to draw the government's attention to the need to restore their allowance, but if that fails, they would advice themselves.

President John Mahama, in justifying the withdrawal of the allowance noted that the training colleges are now tertiary institutions and that it would be unfair to giver loans to some of the students whilst others are given allowance.

Mr. Thomas Baafi, Deputy General Secretary of Ghana National Association of Teacher (GNAT), however, think otherwise. According to him, teacher quality is central to improving student achievements. "The teacher is by far the most important factor in education delivery and no sacrifice is too great for the country to make for teacher trainees to acquire all the skills that will enable them teach our children effectively," he said.

Mr. Baafi further noted that outlook of every nation reflects on quality education that it gives its citizens, saying "the health, the cleanness of its environment, the general behavior of the people, indeed the total development of the country hinges on education".

Mr. Raph A. Apaaya , General Secretary of Teachers and Education Workers' Union (TEWU) in his keynote address said the cancellation of the allowance was going to send the clock backwards and the little success chalked as a result of the implementation of the trainee allowance whittled away.

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