President John Dramani Mahama has strongly defended the government’s decision to swap the allowances paid to teacher trainees in Colleges of Education with the Student Loan Scheme.
He said apart from ploughing back the 282 million cedis government paid to them, the policy has led to 63 percent increment in enrolment, and also addressed the issue of inequality.
President Mahama put up the defence when he addressed students and lecturers of the University of Education, Winneba on the last day of his Accounting To The People Tour of the Central Region.
He said the policy begun with only the first year teacher trainees and those continuing enjoyed the allowances until they completed.
Government he said continues to provide feeding grants to the teacher trainees.
President Mahama focused his presentation on the policies and programmes government has been implementing to enhance teacher trainee education for achieving quality education.
He said an assessment of the teacher education landscape revealed a number of issues that hindered the attainment of critical goals necessary for quality education to thrive.
These include the glaring inequalities in terms of the level of training being offered by the universities and the colleges of education.
This, he, said, was evident in the disparities in the certificates obtained from the two different sets of institutions for graduates who were expected to perform the same tasks.
The government, therefore, decided to upgrade the training colleges to Colleges of Education to level the field.
The second challenge according to President Mahama was the inequality in funding of teacher education.
He said while the teacher trainees in colleges of education received monthly allowances, their colleagues in the other tertiary teacher trainee institutions such as Winneba and Cape Coast fund their education through student loan scheme.
President Mahama said the upgrading of the training colleges to Colleges of Education and the swapping of the allowances with the student loan scheme have addressed the inequalities and inequities identified in the assessment.
He asked those who have criticised the government’s decision to be fair and respond to calls on them if they will restore the teacher trainee allowances and extend it to students in other teacher training tertiary institutions.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com/
Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman said Ghana has a good education system.
It however requires consistent funding, policies and programmes to made it grow.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com/
She said government funding of education currently stands at 34 percent of national revenue more than the 20 percent UNESCO bench mark.
Authorities at the university appealed to government to support it in its infrastructure drive.
The Jophus Anamoah Mensah Conference Centre of the University of Education, Winneba, was full to capacity with students and lecturers.