|Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Education Minister|
The Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana, Volta Sector (TTAG-Volta) have resolved to hit the streets in the coming week to protest government decision to scrap the allowances of fresh trainees entering the various colleges of education this year. A communiqué issued after an executive council meeting of the association in Ho at the weekend, said the decision when carried out will bring untoward hardship onto trainees, who depend on the allowances to support their training.
The communiqué signed by TTAG-Volta president Shittie Prosper stated that “Teacher trainees go through a lot during training to equip themselves in order to give off their best to this nation and thus needs the penny that is being paid as allowance which is even taxed to purchase handouts, prepare teacher learning materials for practice, pay for facility user fees, registration fees, books among others”,
The communiqué further stated the country’s annual teacher deficit of 60,000 will further worsen should government go ahead with its decision to scrap trainee allowances. “The allowance was introduced to retain and motivate teachers to the only unattractive profession that most people disregard in this country”.
The decision to scrap the allowances of fresh teacher trainees was announced by government a couple of months ago in order to increase enrollments into the 38 colleges of education but the students leaders from the seven education colleges in the Volta region, in the communiqué pointed out that government’s decision will rather discourage persons from entering the colleges since new trainees cannot meet their financial obligations in the colleges without the allowances.
The communiqué again noted “Colleges of Education are neither universities nor polytechnics. Colleges of Education have different but equally important mandate, we are different and our roles are different. We should not in any way be compared to any other tertiary institutions for the sake of our tertiary status, we have different calling as teachers to teach, mould and train the feeble mind.”
The communiqué further called on government to take pragmatic measures to provide adequate facilities and infrastructure in colleges in order to increase enrollment rather than scrapping allowances. “We acknowledge government effort to train more teachers but certainly this is not the best way to go”.