EducationGhana| July 23| Teacher Trainees’ Allowances are in arrears since January 2022 – TTAG President:
The president of the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG), Jonathan Dzunu has indicated that the government owes teacher trainees’ allowances since January 2022.
The president made this revelation in a speech delivered at the 26th General Assembly of the Association held at the St Francis College of Education on July 22, 2022.
”The effort of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government to reinstitute the payment of teacher trainees’ allowance is appreciated. That notwithstanding, the allowance restoration is faced with a delay in disbursement, and non or zero payment of allowance to some students.” He said.
The allowances paid to teacher trainees with feeding grants as a component for the various colleges of education are aimed at easing the huge financial burden on teacher trainees.
”As I speak, the allowances are still in arrears for 7 months for the 2021/2022 academic year, particularly from January 2022 till date which has immensely compounded the financial burden on teacher trainees in the various colleges.” He indicated.
Level 100 and 400 Students
The president added, that what is making the situation complex and disturbing is that the level 100 and400 students have completed their first semester and the first half of their second semester respectively but till now, their allowances are not paid particularly the level 400 students who are exiting college pretty shortly
”Madam Chairperson, what is making the situation complex and disturbing is that the level 100 and 400 students have completed their first semester and the first half of their second semester respectively but till now, their allowances are not paid particularly the level 400 students who are exiting college pretty shortly.”
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Level 200 and 300 Students
”The level 200 and 300 students have equally done the first semester and heading towards the second semester yet a penny is not paid to them as allowance.”
”Looking at the current economic hardship in the country, you can imagine the difficulty students are going through, life on campus without allowance has become very unbearable for us.” He said.
The TTAG president further indicated that food shortages are likely to hit the colleges soon as a result of non-payment of allowances. He added, that the principals are complaining that the suppliers are not ready to supply them with food items because they owe them
”Meanwhile, food shortages are likely to hit the colleges soon as a result of non-payment of
allowances. The principals are complaining that the suppliers are not ready to supply them with food items because they owe them.” He said.
”Madam Chairperson, it is our view that the colossal delay in payment of allowances is going to send the clock backwards and the little successes chalked as a result of the implementation of the teacher trainee allowance whittled away taking into consideration the historical antecedent that led to the implementation of the allowance scheme and the positive effect it has had on teacher education in particular and basic education in general over the years.” He argued.
Jonathan indicated that the association was perfectly aware of the current economic and financial crisis in the nation
”Let me hasten to add that we are perfectly aware of the current economic and financial crisis in the nation.”
”Nonetheless, the innocent teacher trainee should not be used as a sacrificial lamb. If this is not adhered to, it will be tantamount to a poultry farmer whose chicken is stolen by a hawk and again throws eggs at the hawk forgetting that both come from the same poultry; Meanwhile, quality teacher education can help turn the economic fortunes of this nation.” He said.
”We, therefore, want to appeal passionately that utmost priority should be attached to the payment of teacher trainees’ allowance on the premise that:
1. The scheme was instituted to serve as motivation and attraction to students with the passion to teach despite the fact that it is an underpaid profession.
2. The allowance has served as a poverty alleviation intervention over the years in the sense that, families who cannot afford the exorbitant fees of other tertiary institutions in the country have had a last resort to send their wards to colleges of education in their bid to have their lives transformed and made better by these wards.
A lot of poor families save for a long time and some even sell family lands and other valuable properties in an attempt to pay the high admission fees of the Colleges but with an assurance that the allowance would later cushion their wards to complete the colleges successfully.
3. Teacher trainees depend greatly on the allowance for their teaching and learning materials, feeding, examination fees, and hand-outs, among others.
4. The allowance as well cushions teacher trainees undergoing teaching practice in basic schools within surrounding communities of the colleges to pay for their accommodation, and utility bills, just to mention but a few.
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”Madam Chairperson, it is my candid appeal that the delays by the government in the payment of allowances be looked at more closely and the cost of the action counted.”
”Teacher trainees and members of the teaching profession should not always be made to suffer anytime there are budgetary constraints in the country.” He said.
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