HANDLING THE PRESIDENT’S PHONE 29
Political promises are on the rise as another opportunity has presented itself for some politicians to engage in unethical politics. Once the opportunity has come, electorates must be on the look for unscrupulous politicians who would want to trick them.
It is indeed intriguing that the president His Excellency John Dramani Mahama would dare place his political carrier on the line in a policy decision he regard appropriate for the people of Ghana.
That spells his commitment to the welfare of all. We have gotten to a stage where nation building with the interest of all at heart must lead us. Selfishness for political gains that inures to the benefit of a privileged few must be eschewed. We all pay taxes, and so, we must all be part of the national cake being shared.
If my father or mother pay taxes; direct or indirect, I must benefit from what the taxpayers’ monies are being used for. If your brother or sister gains admission into either Teacher Training or Nursing Training school and is receiving allowances to help him or her pay schools fees, my brother at Legon or Sunyani Polytechnic (Sunyani Technical University) must also be paid allowances because he pays school fees too.
If your daughter gains admission into a teacher training college with the same grades as my daughter, mine equally has the right to be admitted. She must not be refused, not because there are no spaces to admit students, but because government cannot pay the large number the allowances it comes with. It is in this spirit that I think my interaction with Esther must be made public.
Esther is a student with one of the teacher training colleges in the Eastern Region.
Esther, prior to her gaining admission into the teacher training college, had failed at two attempts to realise her dream of becoming a teacher.
To Esther, her desire to gain admission into the teacher training college was not for anything other than her desire to become a teacher. She was not motivated by the allowances, and would have wished to gain admission and pay for her academic expenses.
Esther became only successful at her third attempt. This was made possibe because her stambling block which was the quota system caused by the payment these allowances were taken off paving way for her to realise her long standing dream.
To Esther, she is grateful that the system was opened up. Esther further disclosed experiences of her colleagues at her school which were not different from hers.
Today, after the abolishing of the quota system, Teacher Training Colleges across the country are admitting 63% more than was the case when the allowances were payable.
A continous fight over these allowances means we are telling government to, by the application of a policy, deny deserving students access to Teacher and Nursing Training Colleges.
Let us see the likes of Esther. She wouldn’t have had the opportunity. How wrong could the replacement of trainee allowances be when their counterparts at other tertiary institutions with similar certificates are accessing students loan to pay their fees?
Let us approach this issue in its proper context. These allowances were not withdrawn without a plan. Those who entered these colleges at the time these allowances were payable are expected to be given the allowances until they complete school.
Those who are not being paid these allowances were aware prior to their application for admissions that these allowances would not be paid them. They entered the colleges on their own volition knowing very well that government had replaced the allowances with students loan.
If we understand it this way, we would not create the impression as if moments after these students were admitted into the Teacher and Nursing Training Colleges, government had withdrawn their allowances leaving them in the middle of the sea. We cannot be misleading ourselves this way.
The long term benefits of government policies must be our ultimate concern and not the unpleasant events of today.
People of Ghana, do not be hoodwicked into believing and voting for desperation. Watch the attainability of these promises and make your decision. It would take miracle for any other government to restore these allowances. The only thing possibe would be to cut the numbers by reintroducing the quota system, or pay all tertiary students these allowances, because they are all Ghanaians, would hold the same certificates and deserve to be part of the national cake.
I cannot drop this episode without looking at some events of the past week. Indeed, it was entertaining. An event held at the National Theatre must achieve one aim. If nothing at all comes out of it, it must entertain. So former president John Agyekum Kufour was not wrong when he climaxed the occasion with his closing remarks as “entertaining”.
A political economic lecture which the lecturer projected to be fair, ended up skewed and characterised with untruths. Fortunately, the forum for Setting the Records Straight is assuming its position to put these issues to strict scrutiny on Wednesday 14th September, 2016.
But, I would end with two issues that emanated from that forum. The NPP according to their running mate intimated that they would resolve the electricity challenges permanently in 10 years when in actual fact, they would be seeking a 4 year mandate renewable through elections. How on earth, to the extent that a maximum of two terms would result in 8 years, can a party seeking power promise to resolved electricity in 10 years?
Then you would ask if it would require them 10 years to resolve ‘dumsor’, why must it require President Mahama 3 and half years to resolve it? Is this not a case of double standards?
On the second issue, while listing the various road infrastructure projects constructed under former president Kufour, I heard the running mate say “ASHAIMAN MOTORWAY” was part of their achievements. I am still looking for that motorway and when it was constructed. Fortunately, a friend told me the motorway is inside Ashaiman Market and so I would make time to confirm for myself. Pathetic!
……..to be continued………