The Ghana Education Service (GES) has cautioned teacher trainees to desist from making unnecessary monetary demands from the District Assemblies as a condition for accepting postings to teach in deprived areas.
All trainees are sponsored by government and the assemblies support with transportation allowance and pocket money, and a promise to provide accommodation, but reports indicate that the trainees are making more monetary demands from the assemblies.
According to the acting Director-General of the GES, Michael Nsowah, such demands are illegal and unprofessional.
All trainees are being sponsored by government and as such, the district assemblies have no obligation to do something extra apart from what the government is doing,” he added.
Mr. Nsowah who said this is an interview with the Times in Accra on Monday, said shortage of teachers exists in almost all the deprived areas country-wide and under the sponsorship scheme, teachers are trained to met the demand of the various districts. Districts experiencing difficulties in meeting their demand for teachers are allowed to sponsor candidates for training, he said, adding that since its introduction in the 2000/2001 academic year, the scheme has gradually gained acceptance.
Although, Mr. Nsowah could not quote figures, he said at present a greater number of the district assemblies have embraced the scheme.
Mr. Nsowah stressed that no teacher trainee can refuse posting to a district because the district assembly did not give him or her financial assistance to pursue their training course, adding that, “the signing of an undertaking to teach in the district in itself constitutes the sponsorship and it binds the trainees.”
He said despite the sponsorship by the assemblies, Government spends about ў138 billion as allowances to cover the cost of feeding and tuition of teacher trainees.
He explained that the essence of the sponsorship scheme is to assure the trainers of readily available places in schools in the districts.
Instead of giving out money he suggested that the district assemblies could rather channel such resources with providing features' accommodations, motor bikes and other facilities that would attract and mobilize teachers to go and work there.