Cancel the Teacher Trainee Allowance now – Principal of John Bosco’s College tells government
The Principal of St. John Bosco’s College of Education, Prof. Joseph Amikuzuno, has made an appeal to the Government to reconsider the policy of paying allowances to teacher trainees in colleges of education across the country.
Prof. Amikuzuno explained that these allowances compel the colleges to admit below their full capacities, resulting in the underutilization of facilities and a limited number of teachers trained, thus worsening the teacher-pupil ratio.
Using his own college as an example, he expressed dismay over the limited number of admissions they could accommodate due to the quota imposed by the Government following the reintroduction of trainee allowances.
“Last year, we received over 3,000 applications for admission to St. John Bosco’s College of Education. Unfortunately, we could only admit 300 students, and even that number exceeded the government’s quota. The government had requested us to admit only 270 students, but we exceeded that number,” he shared during the school’s 16th matriculation ceremony.
Prof. Amikuzuno emphasized that the idea that allowances serve as an incentive to attract individuals into the teaching profession is no longer valid. He pointed out that students would still pursue teaching careers even without the allowances, as demonstrated during the period when the allowances were replaced with student loans under President John Mahama’s tenure.
“Even without the allowance, we will still have students eager to enroll in the colleges because they understand that after completing their education, they will secure jobs as teachers. Therefore, from my perspective, the allowance should be discontinued, and trainees should be provided with loans,” he earnestly appealed.
Teacher trainee allowances were replaced with student loans during President John Mahama’s presidency. However, during President Nana Akufo-Addo’s tenure, the allowances were promptly reinstated. Since the reintroduction of the allowances, colleges of education have been forced to drastically reduce the number of students they admit compared to when the allowances were scrapped.