Communication with the above topic must change immediately. The decision by the NDC to cancel the trainee allowance was well thought through and made sense. You may draw your conclusions based on the reasons listed below.
- For over 20 years the allowance placed an admission quota of 40% on qualified applicants each year. In effect, 60% of all qualified applicants were denied admission because of the financial strain created by the allowance. Note that the allowance was not just canceled, but was replaced with a students’ loan scheme.
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- The withdrawal of the allowance led to the lifting of the 40% quota on admissions. That is why the 1st admissions in 2015, after the allowance withdrawal, increased enrolment from 9,000 to 15,000. An increase of 6000 students was a positive effect of the “No Quota” policy. It closed up the teacher-pupil deficit, which stood at a ratio of 1:7.
- The replacement of the allowance with a student loan not only eased the financial strain on government and freed resources to expand the training facilities to accommodate the rising number of trainees, but it also provided an alternative source of funds for students.
- Again under the NDC, trainees were paid 12 months a year but under NPP, it has been reduced to 8 months. Besides, without allowances, trainees were posted directly after their training, without the Licensure Exams and national service. With the restored allowance, you have to pass the Licensure Exam and do National Service, before you’re posted.
5. The one (1) extra year of service is a waste and a retrogression in salary, social security, and professional progression. For example, the 1st batch of the “no allowance” teachers who were posted directly under the NDC policy earned about Gh1500 a month. The same teacher doing National Service under the NPP is earning Gh500 a month. This translates into a revenue loss of Gh1000 a month or Gh12,000 a year for the “restored allowance” teacher.
6. The Gh12,000 lost under the NPP is far greater than the Gh4,800 the trainee received as a total allowance for the 3 years in college as a trainee. (They were paid an allowance of Gh200 for 2 semesters of 8 months a year).
- Regarding social security, the teacher under the NDC would have saved a year’s contribution, whereas the service teacher under NPP saves zero since SSNIT contribution is not paid during national service. This will eventually affect one’s pension.
8. On professional progression or scheme of service, it takes a new teacher 5 years to be promoted to the next rank, so the teacher under NDC would have reduced it by a year because of the direct posting, whereas the NPP teachers who do National Service will be marking time and wasting the 1 year as Service personnel.
In effect, despite the noise made by the NPP over the restoration of the trainee allowances, the teacher had a greater advantage under the NDC without the allowance, than under the NPP with the restored allowance. So the restoration of the allowance is only a psychological gain for the NPP, rather than a substantive gain for teachers.