Government’s unfortunate U-Turn on Colleges of Education 

This matter was used for politics by then Akufo-Addo and his team in opposition seeking power.

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In the lead up to the 2016 elections, the issue of continuous payment of allowances to Teacher Trainees became a contentious matter.

There have been justifications for and against the cancellation of the allowances in the form it existed.

The then John Mahama government argued that with the new status of Teacher Training Colleges into Colleges of Education with improved certification, students who complete these schools have tertiary status with improved salaries.

As a result, the Mahama government was of the conviction that it would treat all tertiary institutions the same, and opened the opportunity for students at Colleges of Education to apply for student loans to fund their education if they needed it.

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The consequences of that was that, government would take away the quota system that imposed a limitation on the schools to admit to full capacity. And so, when the allowances are taken off, all schools can admit to full capacity since all students would be required to pay for their education.

This matter was used for politics by then Akufo-Addo and his team in opposition seeking power.

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They claimed that the allowances can be maintained while the schools are allowed to admit to their full capacity. We all know this never happened, but a caricature of same was staged.

Fast forward, in a recent leaked letter, government has directed heads of Colleges of Education to implement a quota system because it cannot continue to pay for the feeding of students beyond a certain number.

This takes as back to where we were before the Mahama administration announced the taking away of the quota system. Today, contrary to what Mahama wanted where all schools can admit to their full capacity, schools are being directed to cut down their intake, not because there are no spaces, but because the Akufo-Addo government says it cannot pay allowances and feed the students.

So, those who may even be willing to pay fees would be denied. Does this not become the beginning of corruption where heads of these schools or those involved in the administration process could make financial gains?

We must treat our education devoid of political interests, but unfortunately, this is where we find ourselves.

By Stephen Kwabena Attuh (ASK) 

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