Dan Anku Dagah and Prosper Shiti
Leaders of teacher trainees in the Volta Region have registered their disgust over the refusal of principals of the region?s colleges of education to allow students to embark on a demonstration in the regional capital.
The leaders, who are unperturbed by their authorities? decision are prepared to fight for the restoration of the scrapped teacher trainees? allowance.
The President of the Volta sector of the Teacher Trainees? Association of Ghana (TTAG), Prosper Shiti, told DAILY GUIDE in an interview that despite the setbacks, ?We managed to hold a press conference and presented our petition to the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Francis Ganyaglo for onward submission to the President and other related ministries.?
A press statement copied to DAILY GUIDE noted that teacher trainees nationwide were unhappy about the scraping of the allowance which became operational at the start of 2013/2014 academic year.
The directive, according to the statement signed by the National President, Mohammed Amin Mansiru, was detrimental to the future of the country?s education, with reference to historical antecedent and current negative consequences it would have on teacher education.
The statement added that currently, 40 percent of level 100 students are unable to return to the various colleges due to their inability to pay ?the exorbitant feeding fees.?
Prosper Shiti explained that according to the directive, government was going to pay the feeding fee of trainees as they assess students loans as an alternative to the allowance.
However, the feeding fees which students used to pay from their allowances have not been paid to the colleges since the directive was implemented last August, hence, the sacking of trainees who were unable to pay the fees.
He added that loan was not an option for now, considering the level of hardships that the trainees were going through.
The press statement also stressed that trainees were ?highly disappointed? in the President and the government?s maintenance of the directive despite the challenges and several appeals made by individuals and associations such as ?GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and CETAG among others? to reverse it.
Prosper Shiti also described the directive as unfair when others like the nurses and security services were enjoying the same allowance they have been deprived of.
He, therefore, called on the government to reconsider its decision in order to improve motivation and attract more quality teachers to the low paid and devalued teaching profession.
The allowance when restored would assist trainees cater for rent, teaching and learning materials, utility bills particularly when preparing for out-programme and postings to the hinterlands. Finally, it would assist trainees to pay for their feeding fees, examination fees, text books, hand-outs, among others.
The Public Relations Officer of TTAG, Dan Anku Dagah, also dispelled claims that the scrapping of the allowance would help to admit more qualified students, expand infrastructure and improve quality of training and the overall educational system.
He said that government should show more commitment to the colleges of education and be more creative instead of squeezing teacher trainees to do that.
From Fred Duodu, Ho ([email protected])