John Boadu, National Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has described as an affront to teaching profession, remarks purportedly made by the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) against teacher trainees in the country.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary, was reported to have asked teacher trainees who cannot live without the provision of their student allowance by government to stop schooling.
In the said interview with Fox FM, a Kumasi-based private radio station, Asiedu Nketia, also called General Mosquito, was quoted as saying "if you can't stay in school and be trained as a teacher without student allowance, leave the school. We don't need your votes. You can vote against us. We don't care."
Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM's "Kokrokoo", John Boadu said he found the comments very distasteful and an insult to the profession.
According to him, the allowances which have been scrapped by the Mahama administration served as a source of livelihood for some of the trainees.
"As a matter of fact, some trainees depend on the allowances to cater for themselves and their families," John Boadu noted.
He recounted that some trainees have had to fend for their families and finance personal activities using the allowances given to them by government before removing them completely.
“I think it’s very [very] insulting…It has nothing to do with whether you're NDC or NPP. It’s about the survival of our own people and the education of our people," he said.
Speaking to the same issue, a member of the Government's Communication Team, Sam George believed his party's General Secretary's comments have been taken out of context and the import lost as a result of direct transliteration by journalists.
In his conviction, some students from average and poor family backgrounds gained admission to tertiary institutions like the University of Ghana (Legon), yet they were able to go through their year's of studies and finally graduated.
"They survived on campus though they were not relying on any allowance from government," he added.
To him, the teacher trainees should make maximum use of the Student Loan Trust facility set up by government.
“We need to ask ourselves that are we in a position to continue to give such funds to teacher trainee students as an incentive? Looking at our current economic state, it is not sustainable. When you look at our demand for teachers, we need teachers. So, we adjust the financial resources using a quota system...
“We are under-producing teachers. There’s a huge deficit but on the other hand we're being forced to pay money we don’t have,” Sam George said.
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