The Teachers and Trainees Advocacy (TTA) has fired back at former President, John Mahama, and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, for their comments that suggest that the trainee teachers’ allowance was not cancelled.
“The evasive comments by the former president to the effect that the trainee teachers allowance was not scrapped but rather replaced with Students’ Loan is untrue and an arrant contradiction,” they said.
They questioned the explanation given by the opposition leader and his party that the allowance was “not cancelled” but said it was replaced with Students’ Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
In a signed statement dated July 15, 2020, they argued that the trainee teachers’ allowance was a free mechanised payroll disbursement which had no repayment clauses and interest rate accruals to the consolidated fund.
“The trainee teachers’ allowance can’t be substituted with a loan scheme which comes with a repayable clause and stringent conditions,” they argued.
They claim that per their research, only 30% of trainee teachers were able to access the students’ loan from 2013 to 2016 after meeting the tough qualifying conditions, when the allowance scheme was cancelled.
The association described the assertion that colleges of education were upgraded to offer first degree and that merited the scrapping of the allowance, as a distorted fact. To them, “this is shocking and unfounded.”
TTA further admonished trainee teachers to exercise restraints in venting their spleen when politicians distort facts about the painful experience they endured when their allowances were cancelled between 2013 and 2016.
They called on politicians to rise above “petty politics” and stop using “the education sector, which is too sensitive, as a political football match.”