|President John Dramani Mahama says government does not have the financial capacity to maintain the teacher trainee allowances.
According to him, withdrawing the allowances would enable government to admit more students into the various colleges of education.
The President made this known after the Concerned Teacher Trainees Association of Northern Region (CTTANR) petitioned him over the withdrawal of allowances meant for teacher trainees in the Northern Region.
President Mahama explained “tertiary institutions have the capacity to take double the students but because of the ceiling on the teacher trainee allowances, it cannot do that.
“If we take away the teacher trainee allowance then we can fill these colleges of education to full capacity and see whether we need some more,” he said.
The President of the Concerned Teacher Trainees Association of Northern Region, Mohammed Abdul Latif-Kofi, said withdrawing the allowances could affect majority of teacher trainees who depend on allowances to pay their fees.
According to him, the move by government is ill-informed.
Latif-Kofi urged government to rescind its decision and find ways of motivating students to gain admission into colleges of teacher education.
“Why is the government so quick to remove the allowances of students but has not also been quick in paying our lecturers their service allowances?” he quizzed.
Latif-Kofi said the allowances play a major role in the pursuit of academic discipline and therefore appealed to the government to review the policy.
Meanwhile, over 250,000 trained teachers, who are members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT), have called for an upward revision of their salaries above the eight percent recently proposed by Government.
According to the teachers, they also want the base pay of other public workers to be raised above Government’s suggestion of 8 percent.
On Government’s decision to scrap allowances given to teacher trainees, he noted: “A careful analysis of the proposed policy suggests to us that any attempt by Government to stop the allowances given to teacher trainees will make an already bad situation worse.”
Furthermore, Mr Opoku said the proposed policy would invariably demoralize Ghanaians who would want to venture into the teaching profession.