General News Fri, 14 Oct 2016
President John Mahama has asked his critics to stop confusing government stands on teacher trainee allowances with that of the nursing trainee's.According to him, the position by government to replace the teacher trainee allowance with the students’ loan scheme still stands and has not been reviewed.
The President weeks ago told some nursing trainees in the Brong Ahafo region that their cancelled allowances was being restored following an advice by the technical committee advising government on the issue.
The comment by the President sparked rumours that the government had backtracked on the withdrawal of all allowances for trainees. Critics of the NDC had argued that the move was for political gains.
But addressing students of the University of Ghana as part of his campaign in the Greater Accra region, Mr. Mahama reiterated his justification for cancelling the allowance for teachers.
“We have upgraded the colleges of education into tertiary status and the fact is you can’t eat your cake and still have it; if you eat it, it is gone. And so you want to be colleges of education to award degrees like the others but at the same time we should discriminate against them and continue to pay you allowance while they take students loan. And so even on the basis of equity, it was important for us to replace the allowance with the loan so we can create equity.
“By withdrawing the allowances we have increased by 63 percent the number of young people who want to train as teachers. And infrastructure has also been expanded. This is often confused with the issue of nursing allowance. The nursing trainees were going to put on the student loan scheme but we realised that the students’ loan act does not allow for their institutions to benefit from the loan and so we are amending the act, as soon as that is done, they will also be put on it,” the President explained.