ACCOUNTING TO THE PEOPLE… PAGE 16 – 19.
As promised in our last edition, we are going to focus on the colleges of education alone in this edition as we continue scrutinizing the accounts given to Ghanaians by President Mahama with regards to the mandate we gave him to lead us in our quest to build a better Ghana.
Before we proceed, let it be on record that till President Mahama’s government anybody who wanted to hold a 1st degree certificate as a trained teacher had to attend either University of Cape Coast or University College of Education, Winneba and not a teacher training college. It took this government to upgrade all teacher training colleges to colleges of education where students end up as trained teachers with 1st degree certificates and not diploma certificates like what used to happen before this government. Anyway, we will discuss the pros and cons of this move at the latter stages of this piece.
President Mahama’s government upon upgrading training colleges to colleges of education scrapped the students allowance previously enjoyed at training colleges and replaced it with the SSNIT loans meant for all students at the tertiary level. So far 2,884 students from various colleges of education have received a total of 2.7 million cedis from the fund.
A further support to the reforms at the colleges of education is a £19 million Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) program aimed at consolidating teacher training education.
Let us now go back to the issue of upgrading training colleges to degree awarding colleges of education. We will all agree that tertiary institutions like universities and polytechnics have students who do not receive anything like allowances but have access to the students loan from SSNIT. It will only be fair that once diploma awarding training colleges have been upgraded to degree awarding colleges of education, students will be treated like their colleague teachers undergoing training at the University of Cape Coast and University College of Education, Winneba.
Even with the scrapping of allowances, government is still paying for the dinning fees of students at the various colleges of education though their colleague teachers undergoing training at the University of Cape Coast and University College of Education, Winneba are not enjoying this benefit.
The major issue we seem to overlook in this upgrading of training colleges to colleges of education and the scrapping of the teacher trainee allowance is the quota system.
Due to the payment of allowances to students, training colleges were given specific quotas to admit and could not admit students above the authorized quota given to them and this ensured that some schools admitted as low as 35% of their capacity.
Government intended building 10 new training colleges nationwide to provide space for more teachers to be trained but upon assessing our training colleges in order to upgrade them to colleges of education, government realized that the problem was not inadequate space to train teachers but restrictions from the quota system that prevented schools from admitting to their capacity due to allowances to be paid to students.
Government therefore scrapped the payment of allowance to students which made the abolishing of the quota system in colleges of education possible and the schools are now admitting up to their capacity. Thus scrapping of the teacher trainee allowance has ensured that colleges of education are today admitting up to 100% their capacity and there is no quota system pinning their admissions to a specific number way below their capacity.
We end this piece by asking readers a question and we will gladly welcome your answers. Will you give money to only three people and train them to do a job that requires the effort of 10 people or you would invest the money to be given to the 3 people into training all the 10 required to do the job?
After we answered this question ourselves, the team came to a conclusion that this is one of the best policies ever implemented at our tertiary education level and we give president Mahama and his government a thumbs up for such bold decision. Let us not forget that we need more trained teachers to ensure our nation produce more trained brains at all levels to help build a better Ghana.
Please the team will be going on a two days break after this piece and while on this break, we will be happy to hear about your concerns, suggestions and advice on our work done so far. Please you can send your concerns, suggestions and advice to:
We shall return. Cheers.
#D3 GREEN BOOK