The Ghana National Association of Teachers has described as unfortunate, President John Dramani Mahama’s unilateral decision not to restore the scrapped allowances for trainee teachers.
The scrap of the allowances in 2014 triggered protests by many people, especially the teacher trainees but President Mahama has maintained he will not succumb to pressure, noting he prefers to lose the elections than to restore the allowance.
Government claimed the payment of the allowance was having “huge cost implication for the national budget” and also caused it to scale down the number of students intake through the imposition of what we call the quota system.
Addressing students of the Cape Coast University last week, President Mahama claimed the withdrawal of the allowance has increased enrollment at the various colleges of education nationwide.
But the General Secretary of GNA, David Ofori Acheampong, says the president could have allowed for broader consultations before making the statement.
He said one of the reasons given for the withdrawal of the allowance was that facilities were going to be expanded to take more trainee teachers but noted that has not been done.
“The reason they gave was that they wanted to expand the facilities and as I speak to you now no facility has been expanded in any College of Education. Even as I speak to you today, there is a problem with the final years who are supposed to come out next year,” Mr Acheampong said.
Speaking to TV3’s Daniel Opoku, he denied claims by President Mahama that enrollment has increased since the cancellation of the training allowances.