The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called on government to review the withdrawal of the teacher trainee allowance policy to bring about a win-win situation.
It said though the policy to withdraw teacher trainee allowances might have brought a marginal increase in enrolment, it was counter-productive.
GNAT said its assertion was premised on the fact that, that allowance was instituted primarily, to attract needy but brilliant students who could not afford fees at the universities or the Colleges of Education to train as professional teachers.
“Teacher Trainee Allowance, as we all know, went with the government’s quota system in the Colleges of Education,” he said.
“The truth is that, because the principals of the colleges were taking limited numbers, the entry requirements were very high, thereby attracting very good students to such colleges, “Ms Philippa Larsen, Acting National president of GNAT, said.
Ms Larsen, who was speaking at the launch of this year’s World Teachers’ Day in Accra said the pursuit of the policy, in their view, has brought in its trail the watering down of teacher quality as evidenced by the high failure rate in the Colleges of Education.
The event was held on the theme: “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”, She said teaching is a specialised area which needs academically sound students to join. She said the conditions of service at the Ghana Education Service have not been attractive enough to attract people voluntarily into the teaching service.
“Lowering of entry requirements in order to get the numbers to fill vacancies in the Colleges does not make this scenario surprising.
We seem to have sacrificed quality on the altar of quantity. “It is the candid opinion of the GNAT that, the situation would have been different if government had done broader consultations with stakeholders in the education sector before rolling out such policies,” she added. This year’s celebration would take place at Sunyani Jubilee Park in the Brong Ahafo region on October 5.
Ms Larsen announced that each year, as part of the celebration of the World Teachers’ Day, GNAT selects a needy school and some pupils/students in the host region to benefit from GNAT’s largesse.
The Kwanteng D/A Primary School in the Asutifi South District of the Brong-Ahafo Region would benefit from a two-Unit Pavillion Classroom Block for the Kindergarten Department. In addition, 50 pupils/students from Baniantwer SDA Basic in the Kintampo District and Mensahkrom SDA Basic in the Sunyani Municipality would be provided with school attires, school bags, shoes and stationary to motivate them to go to school.