President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday said the withdrawal of the teacher trainee allowance in Colleges of Education was to offer admission to more students in the colleges.
He said the perennial shortage of teachers, particularly in the rural areas, necessitated the withdrawal and their subsequent movement to the Students’ Loan Trust Fund.
"The withdrawal of the allowances of the teacher trainees has so far reduced the burden on government to move the admission of teacher trainees from 9,000 students last year to 15,000 students this academic year,” President Mahama said.
The president said this when he addressed the fourth Quadrennial National Delegates conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Accra.
The conference, which is on the theme:"Education in crisis-The development Agenda beyond 2015" was attended by GNAT delegates from all the 10 regions, members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and other teacher associations in the country.
President Mahama said the government would support the GNAT Welfare Fund which seeks to provide loans to members and also help them to acquire houses.
He said the government would also increase the number of teacher training colleges and gave the assurance that the government would resolve all financial challenges that became outstanding as a result of the implementation of the single spine salary structure.
He commended GNAT and other teacher associations for their contributions that had raised the standard of education over the years and promised to provide all the necessary support that would enhance the performance of teachers.
Mr Samuel Doe Alobuia, the Acting President of the GNAT, commended the government for initiating programmes to enhance the development of teachers over the years.
He appealed to the government to implement the proposed Motivation Fund for teachers in deprived communities to encourage more teachers to accept postings to such areas.
Mr Alobuia said the implementation would provide the opportunity for teachers in those areas to enjoy free accommodation, scholarship for their children and other monetary gains to sustain more teachers in deprived areas.
The acting president said lack of such motivations had over the years reduced teaching to second class occupation after people had failed to gain jobs in other sectors of the economy.
He said: "If these issues are not tackled, then we shall continue to train teachers every year and yet we will not have them in the classrooms throughout the country as we expect."