Stop paying allowances to teacher trainees; give them loans – Kofi Asare tells government
The Africa Education Watch, an Education Think Tank, has called on government to place students in Colleges of Education on the student loan scheme instead of paying allowances to them.
According to the Education Think Tank, this will help curb the challenges surrounding payment of allowances and feeding grants.
“If you look at the issue from the practical perspective, the government already had systems working to solve these problems; the student loan.”
He therefore suggested that Students Loan Trust Fund should be resourced to deliver on its mandate.
“The student loan scheme has not been able to disburse monies to those who have applied and have not even given the opportunity to others to apply. The reason is that GETFund has also not been able to release monies to them,” he noted.
On Wednesday, April 20, the government released over ¢67 million to public Colleges of Education to settle their six-month feeding arrears.
The release followed a directive from the National Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education – Ghana (PRINCOF) to teacher trainees to start funding their own feeding from May 8.
This has generated a widespread conversation about the scrapping of feeding grants and allowances paid to teacher trainees.
While some Ghanaians say since the colleges have been upgraded to university status, such grants should be scrapped, others also argue that the incentive is to get more people into the profession.
The allowance, which was replaced with the student loan scheme in 2016, was restored by the ruling New Patriotic Party government in 2017.
The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, emphasised that the way out of the woods is to reinforce the student loan system.
He also called on the government to provide the needed infrastructure to the Colleges of Education if they have been upgraded to university status.
“To the best of my knowledge, the colleges have now become tertiary institutions, and it is the responsibility of the government to upgrade their facilities to the level of a full-fleshed university.”