The President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, has recommended that the government limits the payment of allowances to only mathematics and science teacher trainees.
He stated that if Ghana is truly interested in global education and its impact on the economy, it is prudent to start thinking “critically about the number of science and maths teachers that we have.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”iWCWn0LgT7iDPEQiZzPOhLoWEzbKzBnj”]Government about two years ago scrapped the payment of teacher trainee allowances, a move which angered affected students and some stakeholders in the educational sector.
The students are threatening to vote against the government if the allowances are not restored.
But the General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has said the government will not be swayed by threats.
He said the purposes for which the allowances were instituted are no longer relevant.
Franklin Cudjoe on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, commended the government for taking the bold step to scrap teacher trainee allowances because according to him, “for far too long, government has tried to be paternalistic; they’ve tried to take care of everything…that kind of mentality is not in tandem with the modern times.”
“If we really are interested in matching teacher training education with what we have, we must induce a policy that will encourage the study of maths and science so you can then decide that you want to give some incentive,” he clarified.
He kicked against the payment of allowances to all teacher trainees saying, the practice was unfortunately “not modern.”
The IMANI boss also condemned the public mentality that only poor people go to teacher training colleges.
Financial Analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford however said it is imperative for Ghana to have a nation of educated citizens.
He argued that “if the government is finding itself in dire economic situations and therefore thinks it can save some money by cutting allowances, where is the sense in the achievement of what we are trying to do?”
Casely-Hayford questioned why the government cannot continue with the payment of allowances in place as well as allow teacher training colleges to admit more students if it indeed believes that education is the bedrock of every nation.
He said: “Because education is such fundamental bedrock of our society and it is the way and means in which we will springboard and move ahead and fight the problems that we are facing, you will sacrifice and put everything that you can into education.”
Meanwhile, the Vice President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers, (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu says the association is unhappy with the withdrawal of the allowances.
He said it served as motivation for post-secondary students who want to be teachers.
He disclosed that when the government announced its intention to withdraw, “we indicated to government at the time…that we do not agree…and we also do not support the situation where resources that will enable people to come into the service to teach our children is being taken away.”
Carbonu complained that already, the teaching field is not an “attractive field and not a first choice decision for a lot of people so we feel that this allowance is an incentive to drive people.”
He however admitted that there are several ways of curing this perception but insisted that one of them is the payment of the allowance.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana