BY THE TEACHER TRAINEES’ ASSOCIATION OF GHANA (TTAG)
Tuesday, 1st March, 2016
Good morning friends from the media, fellow countrymen and women and all well-meaning Ghanaians, the leadership of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana on behalf of its constituents wish to use this opportunity to register our displeasure and revulsion about how trainees in the country are hounded by the government in what they (people in government) call the best way to sustain the colleges of education.
Fellow Ghanaians, it is not enough to take a step that will one day lead you to a goal; but each step must be a goal and a step likewise. The government’s decision to take away the trainees allowance should not in any way overburden the trainees but rather soften the ground and the systems with regards to the Colleges of Education. Today, trainees are suffering great deal because of government’s inability to put structures in place to address the possible pernicious ramifications; such their (government) wanton policy will have on the college system.
Let us start with the third years that are on the out segment. These mentees pay for their accommodation, utility, transportation, feeding among others while on the out segment. One will argue that the out program is a component of the three years diploma course. Yes, it is and we all know but the big question is, what are the administrative structures that are put in place to take care of that system? What system really took care of the same situation in the 1970s when there were no allowances?
Fellow countrymen and women, what is more annoying is that, government by cabinet decision is to take care of our feeding grant but as at now those monies are yet to be paid. Even the one we paid for the 2014/2015 academic year and the first semester of the ensuing year is yet to be refunded to us. But what do we hear government officials say in their numerous filibustering public speeches “that government continuous to feed teacher trainees thrice a day” this is the monstrous assertion of the fact. To this end we are calling on all teacher trainees not to pay for the feeding fee as a component of their bill since government is supposed to pay and have paid as disclosed in their numerous submissions over the period. Again we are calling on the government to refund our feeding fees to us especially the level three hundred students since the time left for us to complete our course is almost due.
We the trainees will demonstrate vehemently on all fronts by which ever means necessary against the government if she fails to refund our monies that we have already paid to us. We are also appealing to all college authorities to desist from forcing our colleagues to pay for their feeding fee but rather go to the government for the money as it remains her responsibility. The situation where some colleges compel trainees to forfeit their examination for not paying those fees is becoming unbearable.
On utility, we congratulate the government for taking the bold step since last year on the 29th June, 2015 to exclude tertiary institutions which include the colleges of education from paying for utility. But again we want to send this message across to those colleges of education that continue to bill students for utility to put a stop to it and refund those monies to the students before legal actions are taken against them. The Colleges of Education is under government and must adhere to government′s directives. So if government says we should not pay and the college authorities are doing otherwise, then this is tantamount to extortion and we all know the legal implication. Some colleges are charging our colleagues as much as GH₵ 150.00, GH₵ 165.00 and more for utility per semester, why? Trainees cannot afford to pay these monies alongside the exorbitant semester school fees which ranges from GH₵1,500.00 to GH₵2,400.
We only mean vigorous action in self-defense and that vigorous action we feel we are justified in initiating by any means necessary. We the trainees are peace-loving to a fault but the response of the government and the authorities to our calls has been escalating intransigence.
To conclude, we want to reiterate that:
1. Trainees should not pay for feeding fees as components of their bill as it remains the responsibility of the government.
2. Government should refund our feeding fees to us because those monies are long overdue, these are our money and we need it now.
3. Government should come to the aid of the trainees on the out segment because the overburden financial commitment we are going through as a result of the scrapping of the allowance is just unbearable. Mr. President, respectfully have compassion on these trainees in this untold hardship [as you continue to preach the need to have compassion on one another.
4. In accordance with government′s directives, no teacher trainee should pay for utility bills as part of their school fees.
GCC: NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION (NCTE)
GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE (GES)
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
ALL MEDIA HOUSES
ALL SECTOR PRESIDENTS
ALL NOTICE BOARDS IN THE COLLEGES
NYARKO BRANDON GEORGE
ASANTE KROBEA ELVIS
EAGA SECTOR PRESIDENT
WEC SECTOR PRESIDENT
ASHBA SECTOR PRESIDENT
MELESUSU ELIKEM DERRICK
NDEWIN ASAAN JONATHAN
ATTRICONS SECTOR PRESIDENT