The Deputy Minister of Education (Tertiary), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, told The Ghanaian Times in an interview and explained that the increase was influenced by government’s decision to review the allowance policy for teacher-trainees, in order to ensure equity in the admission process of the colleges.
Responding to demands by students of Colleges of Education for the restoration of their allowances, Mr. Ablakwa said government had reviewed the policy in consultation with major stakeholders and would go by it.
He indicated that most colleges, which hitherto, had been under-utilised by government’s previous quota system of not more than 200 students per intake, are now admitting to their full capacity adding that, the colleges previously had only 40 per cent of admission capacity due to the quota system, thereby leaving out a good number of qualified applicants with the allowance being an inhabiting factor for increased admission.
The Deputy Minister stated that the review of the teacher-trainee allowance policy was not to punish anyone, but was to give the colleges the opportunity to operate effectively and efficiently.
Mr. Ablakwa said that, the first and second year students were aware of the conditions pertaining to the reviewing of the allowance before applying for admission.
He said the students were being fed three times a day, and were qualified to access the students loan trust for which about 4,100 had already done so adding that, the final year students are still drawing their allowances.
Mr. Ablakwa said students billed by their principals would be reimbursed when government releases their feeding grants.
He said unlike their counterparts in other institutions, teacher-trainees would be absorbed into the teaching field after their education, as they are guaranteed automatic employment under the Ghana Education Service.
The staff of the Colleges of Education would not be affected by the change in the status of the colleges; “They would be maintained”.
By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu