The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is back with its promise of restoring the scrapped teachers and nurses trainee allowances; this time with an assurance of fulfilling the promise three months after it has been elected into office. The Vice Presidential hopeful of the NPP, Dr. Muhammadu Bawumia during a campaign tour, promised that the NPP will restore trainee allowances for all students in the various Nursing and Midwifery Training schools as well as teacher training colleges.
Bawumia and made this known when he visited the Pantang Nursing Training School, alongside the NPP Flagbearer Nana Addo on Tuesday. The VP hopeful speaking on the tour emphasized that, the present government scrapped the allowances due to its excessive borrowing of funds, as a result of its gross indebtedness.
In 2014, the government scrapped trainee allowances, but the move was met with massive protests by teacher trainees across the country, as they argued the decision left them worse off. The government had explained that the trainee allowance was removed to allow for an increase in the number of students entering colleges of education.
This is because trainee allowances scale down the number of students granted admission into schools, as colleges are given a quota; in other, for a government not to exceed the stipulated allocation of trainees’ allowances.
But earlier in July, the government said it had restored allowances for trainee nurses through the Students Loan Trust, as well as payment of a lessened allowance of GHc 150. But the trainees massively rejected government’s offer of GHc 150, saying it was not enough and was nowhere close to the contents of the memorandum of understanding, they signed with the Health Ministry in 2014.
However, the President has maintained his stand on the trainee allowance issue. In his recent post on Twitter, President Mahama stated that he will rather lose the elections than restore trainee allowances which have been scrapped.
But as we can see, the NPP has also maintained its stand on the issue as Dr. Bawumia has assured that the scrapped allowances will be restored three months into the NPP’s regime.