Due to the untold hardship teacher trainees across the country are going through, government communicators continue to give FALSE information to the Ghanaian populace that they are feeding students in colleges of education thrice a day. This annoyed the leadership of VOLTA – TTAG to let the people of Ghana know the real fact about their predicament. Below is their full press organized in Ho.
BY THE TEACHER TRAINEES’ ASSOCIATION OF GHANA-VOLTA SECTOR
THE WOES OF THE TEACHER TRAINEE
THE CURRENT ECONOMIC HARDSHIP COUPLED WITH UNFULFILLED PROMISES BY GOVERNMENT IS THREATENING TO SEND TRAINEES ESPECIALLY THE 2016 TEACHER-TRAINEES ON OUT SEGMENT TO THEIR EARLY GRAVES.
The Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana –Volta Sector wish to express her dissatisfaction about the general unfavorable conditions that teacher trainees in the Volta Region and the country at large are faced with, and to also paint the true picture of how Government’s unfavorable policies are gradually sending us to our early Graves.
It must be recalled that Government as part of its reforms to curb the dwindling enrolment in the colleges of education, scrapped off the teacher trainees’ allowance and replaced it with feeding grants and a student loan scheme. This innovation on the part of government rather appears to be a nuisance which is causing a lot of discomfort to trainees especially level 300 students currently serving the nation on their out segment. It will interest all well-meaning Ghanaians to note that, from the inception of this new reform by the Government from 2014 till date (2016), three semesters feeding grants are still in arrears. What beats our imagination is the continuous dust that government communicators continue to throw into the eyes of Ghanaians that they are indeed catering for the feeding of trainees. They sing the song to sound so pleasant to the ear meanwhile in reality; it is false and misleading.
We the teacher trainees in the Volta Region and the country at large would like to reiterate the fact that:
1. Level 300 students currently serving the nation on their final year attachment have to pay a one year rent for their accommodation since the government has not made any provision to house them after the course work on campus.
2. We continue to pay gargantuan utility bills due to the high utility tariffs being charged by the government
3. those serving in communities located in hinter lands transport themselves to and fro every working day,
4. We buy teaching and learning materials to teach the younger generation,
5. and above all feed themselves throughout the service period.
If teachers who are on Government payroll continue to complain bitterly about living conditions, then what should mentees who render the same service say? Your guess is as right as mine.
Fellow countrymen and women, this is the true picture of what we are faced with as mentees (level 300’s) in the discharge of our duties to mother Ghana. “A hungry man they say is an angry man”, and as such, the earlier the government and other cultivated stakeholders reconsider their decision to listen for a moment to the plight of the vulnerable teacher-trainee, the better it will be for all of us because when we are overstretched beyond our limit, we will be forced to explode as a matter of natural sequence of life.
It is not surprising to note that even the recent state of the nation address delivered by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, nothing was heard about the conditions of Colleges of Education. It was the expectation of teacher trainees and other industry players that the president will touch on the range of issues affecting almost every facet of Colleges of Education. This shows that the government and the country at large are not aware of the plight of the teacher trainees both on campus and on the out segment. Why should the people who groom the future leaders of this nation be treated like this?
If nothing is done to remedy the situation, the country should not be surprised to hear that trainees are teaching the pupils wrong. When all efforts become futile, the end result is frustration and negative thinking. Let us not sit down for things to go out of hand before we look for alternative means of solving them. Since the trainees’ allowance has been taken off, special mechanisms must be put in place to sustain them in their attachment programme. The appeal is very necessary for the sake of posterity.
We applaud the effort of government since 29th June, 2015 for lifting the burden of utility bills on all tertiary institutions of which Colleges of Education form part. But aside this, it is worth noting that, extortion has become the order of the day in some colleges in the region and beyond. Some Principals however continue to bill students for utility at the expense of the subventions they receive from government without clearly stating the terms of these payments. Why should we continue to experience disparity in the payment of the bills even if it’s supposed to be paid? Some colleges are charging our colleagues as much as Ghc 50.00 to Ghc 165.00 for utility per semester in the Volta Region and the nation at large. The leadership of the association is by this statement sending a strong caution to the colleges involved in this act and as a matter of urgency refund those monies to their students before legal actions are taken against them.
I know most people will begin to ask that, why do we continue to make all these claims when we have access to the students loan? Yes, the student loan is in place, but have we for a moment asked whether what is given to applicants as the loan is able to cater for the basic component of their fees?
We want to state unequivocally that, what is given as the student loan is far lesser than what we pay as fees. The loan is woefully not enough to take care of our fees. Let’s take a look at this statistics; the amount of money receivable as loan per semester is GH300.00 to GH450 .00 as against the exorbitant semester school fee which ranges from GHc860.00 to GHc1, 123.00. Where lies the equity? Let us not forget that if teacher education should collapse as result of unfavorable Government policies, posterity will unleash its wrath on us and will never forgive us.
Fellow country men and women, these are the woes that are gradually threatening to send teacher trainees in the Volta Region and the country at large to their early graves. It is in this light that the leadership of TTAG-VOLTA wishes to humbly bring to the attention of Government and for that matter the managers of the Ghanaian economy.
Furthermore, we want to sound it clear to all government communicators to stop their propaganda on the issue of teacher trainees because it is only he that wears the shoes that knows how it pinches. We are really suffering.
We wish to state in plain terms that, the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG) mean well and will continuously seek the welfare of our members. We will relentlessly pursue this concern until the authorities heed to our petition because we are committed to making life comfortable for our members.
In summary, we want to reiterate that:
1. Trainees should remain resolute to their decision not to pay for feeding fees as components of their bills since Government has decided to cater for that.
2. Government should pay the feeding grant that is due every trainee as a matter of urgency especially to Level 300 students since they will soon finish their out segment.
3. We plead with the President of the Republic of Ghana to listen to our cry and come to our aid to fulfill government’s obligation and in addition, give trainees a package to supplement and cushion our numerous expenses that we are incurring in the cause of our service delivery to our nation.
4. In accordance with government’s directives, no teacher trainee should pay for utility bills as part of their school fees.
In solidarity with our members in the VOLTA REGION and across the thirty-eight (38) colleges of Education, the leadership is by this statement calling on and appealing to all stakeholders especially the President of the Republic of Ghana, Ministry of Education (MOE), National Council for tertiary Education (NCTE), Ghana Education Service (GES), Principals Conference (PRINCOF), Religious leaders, Chiefs and elders to as a matter of urgency, respond to our plight.
We are appealing to Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) among others to help fight our cause for the sake of peace, integrity, posterity and the chalk and talk fraternity.
MELESUSU ELIKEM DERRICK
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, REPUBLIC OF GHANA
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION (MOE)
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION (NCTE)
GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE (GES)
PRINCIPALS CONFERENCE (PRINCOF)
GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS (GNAT)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE TEACHERS (NAGRAT)
COALITION OF CONCERNED TEACHERS (CCT)
VOLTA REGIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS
CHRISTIAN COUNCIL OF GHANA
ALL MEDIA HOUSES
LOCAL TTAG PREIDENTS
ALL NOTICE BOARDS IN THE COLLEGES
MELESUSU ELIKEM DERRICK
VOLTA SECTOR PRESIDENT
BEN GLOVER AMEGASHIE
VOLTA SECTOR COORDINATOR
VOLTA SECTOR PRM
MARK EDEM KUADA
SRC PRESIDENT, PEKI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, PEKI
SRC PRESIDENT, ST. FRANCIS COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, HOHOE
TOGBUI MONYO SOLOMON
SRC PRESIDENT, E.P COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, AMEDZOFE
SRC PRESIDENT, AKATSI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
SRC PRESIDENT, DAMBAI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
SRC PRESIDENT, JASIKAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
SRC PRESIDENT, ST. TERESA’S COLLEGE OF EDUCATION