Some Civil Society Organisations, operating in the education and health sectors is calling to government to cancel the Nursing, and Teacher trainee allowances.
According to them the quantum of money spent on Nursing, and Teacher trainee allowances could channel into other profitable venture in the sectors which will be more beneficiary.
The CSOs made the call at a media briefing organised by the CSOs Budget Forum on the 2020 Budget Statement which was presented to Members of Parliament by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta a fortnight ago.
Addressing the media, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Mr. Kofi Asare explained that out of the 10.6 million Ghana Cedis allocated to the educational sector a hooping 9.2 million Ghana Cedis is going into salaries and emoluments.
According to him despite the hooping 9.2 million Ghana Cedis for salaries and emoluments, the sector needs additional 3.7 million Ghana Cedis before it can clear its salaries and emoluments obligations.
One of the campaign promises made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2016 elections was to restore teacher and nursing trainee allowances which was cancelled during the ruin of John Mahama led administration when elected into office.
In fulfillment of this promise, the Government announced in August 2017 that it would, from October same year, restore allowances to both teacher and nursing trainees in public institutions. Since then Government has kept faith with the promise.
According to the Finance minister, a total of GH¢999,203,091 has been paid since the restoration of allowances for the teacher and nursing trainees from 2017 to date.
This he said is made up of an amount of GH¢103,124,102, for the 2017/2018 academic year, GH¢177,511,600, for the 2018/2019 academic year and to date GH¢251,726,589, for the 2019/2020 academic year.
Government has allocated GH¢57,800,000,000.00 for an estimated average of 48,000, teacher trainees in all public colleges of education and 49,000 nursing trainees in public nursing institutions for 2019/2020 academic years.
This according to the CSOs in education and health sectors think it is a waste of scare resources since there are important areas like infrastructure development and expansion.
The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch revealed that the Ghana Education Service (GES) alone need one billion Ghana Cedis to offset its liabilities but was given a meager Ghc183, 000,000.00 thus leaving a yawning gap of over 80%.
He noted with sadness that the 2020 budget is more of a recurrent expenditure instead of investment and development oriented.
Another thing the CSOs want to see it change by the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to address with immediate effect is the placement of the Free SHS secretariat under the office of President.
The group wants it to be place under the ministry of education.
Meanwhile the Advocacy Coordinator of Planned Parenthood Association Ghana (PPAG), Mr. Archibald Adams also collaborated with the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch on the call for the abolishing of Nursing, and Teacher trainee allowances.
On his part, OXFAM Ghana’s Fiscal Policy Specialist, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng emphasized on the need to expand the domestic tax net.
He also called on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to adopt a more persuasive method and tool in collecting taxes instead of their aggressive way it currently uses.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: [email protected]