There has been a controversial debate in the public domain as to whether government should continue to feed teacher trainees and pay them allowance or allow them to fend for themselves just like any other university student as colleges of education have now been upgraded to university colleges.
All sides have pushed forward valid reasons to buttress their stance. As the debate is still ongoing, the reality visiting college principals; delayed release of feeding funds and high cost of goods and services has pushed them to write a letter to the ministry of education seeking permission to allow the trainees to fees themselves. This saw a lot of reaction from well meaning stakeholders.
Joshua Kwasi Tettey also writes an open letter to PRINCOF
Read the full letter below 👇
After reading your letter, that of TTAG and the comment of the Spokes Person for the Ministry of Education, I felt saddened.
If my memories could serve me right, I believe this is the second time the issue of “trainees fending for themselves” has been raised in this year alone. How long will we keep doing this?
Many are those who believe the trainees allowance, from which the said feeding component comes, is long overdue. They believe that money could be invested into developing the Colleges of Education.
I believe the constant reminder and threat to make trainees fend for themselves is due to the delay in the disbursement of the trainees allowance by the Student Loan Trust Fund, an act that is of no fault of theirs.
The government of the day might not have the courage to openly come out to declare it’s decision to halt the payment of the allowance, because they fear their comments back at 2016 will haunt them. They also feel, H.E John Dramani Mahama might feel vindicated.
In as much as I am not here to vindicate or condemn any individual for his/her comment on the issue of the trainees allowance, I believe there could be a win-win solution for us all.
As a trainee, who had the luxury of enjoying the “Feeding Grant” under the former President (H.E J.D Mahama) and “Trainees Allowance” under H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, I believe a “Sankofa” could be a better solution to what we are currently facing.
Prior to the restoration of the allowance in 2017, trainees were been fed by their various Colleges. This was done by allowing trainees pay for their feeding as part of their school fees and the money been paid back to them by the Government.
For instance, a school fees of GH¢2,500.00 is made up of a feeding component of GH¢560.00. This amount is paid twice in an academic year (GH¢560.00 per semester for two semesters in an academic year), amounting to a total of GH¢1,120.00 as feeding fee.
The government then pays this amount (GH¢1,120.00) to the trainees at the beginning of the next academic year and the circle continues.
I believe if this system is brought back to the Colleges and implemented, the burden of the government coughing a huge sum of money to pay trainees every month as allowance, could be solved.
This will also offer the Colleges the opportunity to have enough fund at their disposal always, to be able to cater for feeding of the trainees.
In as much as trainees would be pissed off by the fact that, their stipend of GH¢200.00 per month would cease coming, I believe they will understand the situations we have today and accept this offer.
As indicated earlier, I am not here to vindicate any individual but I believe the humble pie has been on the table for far too long and someone needs to eat it.