I'll pay Teacher trainees and Nurses Allowance if Voted into Office - Fmr. Prez. Mahama

I'll pay Teacher trainees and Nurses Allowance if Voted into Office - Fmr. Prez. Mahama

2020 National Democratic Congress Flagbearer, Former President John Dramani Mahama has indicated that he will continue with the payment of the trainee teachers and nurses allowance if elected into office as President of the Republic of Ghana come 7th January, 2021.

In a video cited by the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal on the Facebook wall of the Former President, a young man by the name Bright, who happens to be a graduate of Nursing Training College asked the Former President to explain further and state his stand on the payment of trainee allowance and immediate employment after school.

The Former President in his response to Bright stated that “you know that was a very critical issue in the run-up to the election in 2016 and what I said was that we were not going to cancel the allowances but rather we were going to migrate health trainees and education trainees unto the student loan scheme. Now, what I am saying now is that we are going to let the status quo remain. What it means is that we are going to continue paying trainees allowances but we are going to improve the Student Loan and adapt it so that it serves the same purpose as your allowances. Therefore, we will increase the amount under the Student Loan and instead of giving it out in a lump sum, it would be given to you at intervals so that you can continue to use it for the things you were using the allowances for. And so once we have done that and it has become attractive, we would now do the migration unto the Student Loan scheme”.

“For now, if I become President on January 7th, 2021, we are going to maintain the status quo. Meaning, you are going to continue receiving the allowances and when we are done fully, we will do the migration unto the student loan scheme” the Former President added.

H. E. John Dramani Mahama further explained that “you will also agree with me that in 2017, the current government budgeted GH¢252,000,000 for trainee allowances alone. Now this money as at that time could have employed 14,000 nurses. Therefore, you are sacrificing immediate employment for the allowances. Because if those allowances are used to employ you, it means that we would be able to employ more nurses who complete school.  Apart from that, what they have done is that they have reduced the numbers entering the health training institutions because they cannot pay. Due to this, there are a lot more people who would have the opportunity to go to the training institutions but they cannot because they have given a quota that they can cater for. To reiterate my point, if I come into power in 2021, I am not going to cancel the allowances, we would continue with it whiles we work to improve the Student Loan scheme. When everyone is satisfied, we now migrate to the Student Loan scheme”.

In 2014, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government scrapped the age-old teacher trainee allowance and replaced it with student loans for teacher trainees to ensure parity, since other tertiary students were on the student loan scheme.

The teacher trainees, not happy with the government’s decision, resorted to demonstrations to force the government to back down but it never did.

The then-presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, promised to restore the allowance if he wins the elections.  

Source: News Desk, Colleges of Education Weekly Journal.

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