Teacher trainees have accused Ministers in government of using their allowance to buy cars.
This follows action by some teacher trainees who recently heckled five government appointees, including deputy minister of education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and deputy minister of communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, over the withdrawal of their allowances, accusing the government officials of using the money to buy luxury vehicles which the students termed ‘allawa cars.’
A group calling itself Teachers' Coalition for Good Governance (TCGG) said the withdrawal of teacher trainee allowances by the government will not inure to the benefit of the trainees.
In a statement, the group said, “The education of young minds, our leaders of the future is a task that is of utmost importance. It is therefore imperative that the profession of teaching should attract the best and the brightest to its ranks.”
“Attracting the best and the brightest, thus requires suitable incentives to draw the nation's talents to what should be a highly valued profession. It is thus baffling that in withdrawing the teacher training allowance, the Mahama administration has decided to proceed with a course that counters the aforesaid logic.
“Over the years, the undervaluing of teachers had already, hitherto, been marked – evident by poor salaries, poor conditions and the gradual withdrawing of benefits. To withdraw one of the few incentives left for those who aspire to join the profession is an absolute folly.
“The profession is crying out for top talent. Teachers who have been in the profession for decades decry the continuous decline in standards and the poor calibre of many new teachers coming through the system compared to the days of yore. This is not the fault of the teachers themselves, but the fault of the system from which they came,” the group said in its statement signed by Afia Kodua and four others.
The group said: “Teachers do not join the profession for the money, but because of a heartfelt desire to make a difference to the lives of future generations as role models and instructors. Hence, TCGG believes that the withdrawal of the teaching training allowance is the latest in a long line of ‘slaps to the face from government’”.
The leaders of the group warned that: “Should this undervaluing of teachers continue, the future prospects of children’s education in this country will be at stake,” wondering: “Why should talented school leavers consider teaching as a profession if this is how the government values them?”
“Yes, there will always be those that desire to be teachers. But if the current government carries on with its self-defeating course, it will not attract the best and the brightest.
“As a result of government's conduct towards trainee teachers, the foundations of the future of this country are being hurt. We, therefore urge government to immediately restore the allowances and also pay serious attention to the human resource in the education sector.”