Teacher trainees across the country have threatened to picket at the Ministry of Education in Accra to demand the release of their feeding grants, which have been outstanding for several months.
The trainees are taking a cue from similar action by their counterparts in the health sector, after several failed efforts on the part of the leadership of the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG) to get the government to release the funds.
An executive member of TTAG, Volta Regional chapter, Mr Francis Tende, hinted of the association’s intention at the climax of the seventh Students Representative Council (SRC) week celebrations at the Akatsi College of Education in the Volta Region recently.
He said the association was disappointed at the Education Ministry over the undue delay in releasing the feeding grant and as such would go all length, including picketing, to get the money paid.
“We have visited the ministry almost four times, concerning the feeding grant, but it seems things are not going on well. The association has, therefore, taken it upon itself to picket for the early release of the money,” he stated and called for the support of the Principals of the Colleges of Education.
Effect of unpaid feeding grant
The Akatsi College of Education SRC President, Mr Miracle Malm, in his address, said the delay in the release of the feeding grant had placed enormous burden on trainees with most of them heavily indebted to the management of their various colleges.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu and a former Deputy Education Minister, Mr Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who was a guest at the ceremony, responded to the threat of the teacher trainees regarding the release of the feeding grants and pleaded with them to exercise a little more patience with the new government.
He indicated that his successors at the ministry could now be acquainting themselves with processes involved in the disbursement of such grants and as such any agitation against them would make things difficult for a ‘young’ government.
Invest in teachers
The acting President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Ms Philippa Larsen, speaking on the theme, “Prioritising Teacher Education: An Essential Ingredient for National Development”, called for stakeholders’ commitment towards improving the quality of teacher education, as it has a direct bearing on the quality of the nation’s human resource base.
The Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Maxwell Blagodzi, in a speech read on his behalf, bemoaned the high attrition rate in the teaching sector, but gave an assurance of deliberate government policies to restore honour to the once noble profession.