The principal of St. John Bosco’s College of Education appeals to the government to scrap teacher trainee allowances and this call has caused more controvert already.
The principal of the St. John Bosco’s College of Education, Joseph Amikuzuno, has appealed to the government to scrap the policy of paying allowances to teacher trainees in colleges of education across the country.
Amikuzuno explained that the allowances force the colleges to admit below their capacities, thereby leaving facilities in the colleges underutilised and limiting the number of teachers trained even as the teacher-pupil ratio worsens.
He used his college as an example, saying that last year, they had over 3,000 applicants seeking admission, but they could only admit 300. This is because the government has imposed a quota on the number of students that can be admitted due to the re-introduced trainee allowances.
“In other words, if 11 applicants wanted to come to St. John Bosco College of Education, we could only pick 1 out of that 11. That’s how terrible it is,” he lamented.
Amikuzuno stressed that the notion that the allowances are an incentive to attract people into the teaching profession is no longer tenable, given that people would still choose to be teachers without the allowances. This is evidenced by the fact that when the allowances were replaced with student loans under President John Mahama, there was still a high demand for teacher training places.
“Without the allowance, we will still have students trooping into the colleges because they know that when they complete the colleges of education, they have jobs as teachers to begin with. So from my point of view, the allowance should be off. The trainees should be given loans,” he appealed.
- The government has not yet responded to Amikuzuno’s appeal.
- However, the issue of teacher trainee allowances is a complex one, and there are strong arguments on both sides of the debate.
- Some people believe that the allowances are an important incentive to attract people into the teaching profession, while others believe that they are a waste of money and that they do not actually improve the quality of teaching.
- The government will need to carefully consider all of the arguments before making a decision on whether or not to scrap the allowances.
The case highlights the need for a more equitable and sustainable system for training teachers in Ghana.