31.07.2020 Feature Article

Straightening The Record!

Straightening The Record!
LISTEN JUL 31, 2020

A few days ago, I responded to the unwarranted press statement issued by the self-acclaimed group called "CONCERNED TEACHER AND TRAINEE NURSES", a faceless entity that only surfaced just to whittle down the importance and gravity of the selection of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang as the running mate to H.E. John Dramani Mahama.

This is an excerpt from that article:

"While I don't have the strength to discuss the weak understanding of governance by the architects of this charade, I want to address their third-grade press statement from their second paragraph.

Their main reason is the point in relation to the 'cancellation of trainees' allowances. They argue that the cancellation of trainees' allowances suffices to demonize Prof. Naana, and by extension, calling on people to vote against the NDC. You see, people who think like this are not just shallow in reasoning, but are a disgrace to the two enviable professions (Teaching and Nursing). How could we have had people who think that the cancellation of the trainees' allowance in order to arrest the quota regime is akin to cruelty?

I surmise, either these people were on Pluto when the discussion of the cancellation of trainees' allowance hit the airwaves or they are simply ignorant. However, for the purpose of this write-up, I crave your indulgence to encapsulate:- in the past, there was what came to be known as the quota regime where few applicants were selected for admission into the Teachers' and Nurses' Training Colleges. Many qualified applicants were left to their fate at home because government could not pay their allowances. This was devastating and frustrating to many Ghanaians. The NDC government thought it was unfortunate to admit only those whose allowances could be paid by government and the rest turned away, which was why the NDC decided to scrap the quota regime and to replace it with increased accessibility to these training institutions. Loan facilities were still available to those who would want to access them. My question, the system where majority of qualified applicants are turned away because of payment of allowances and the system where majority are admitted to arrest the problem of teacher-student and nurse-patient ratios, which one is better? Obviously, the engineers of that press statement are nothing, but selfish and individualistic. They think about themselves and not others who are equally qualified to be admitted.

In any event, didn't The NPP government promise to restore the allowances and maintain the Mahama idea of increased accessibility? Haven't they reverted to the quota regime which deprives qualified applicants of being admitted? What good is of this?

From the psyche of the self-acclaimed leaders of the faceless group, suffice it to say that the selection of Prof. Naana has sent a wave of shocks down the spines of the NPP, hence this hollow and empty press statement to ostensibly subject the woman to public revilement".

In this article, what I seek to do simply, is to enumerate some educational policies of this sloppy government in order that readers can juxtapose those with the Mahama idea of increased accessibility.

Now, if a policy that one government implements should go against it, then let's look at the following policies by the NPP government:

1. The NPP government lied about restoring the allowances and maintaining the Mahama idea of increased accessibility to these training institutions. They have effectively cancelled the increased accessibility and have brought back the quota regime which deprives qualified applicants from being admitted to there training institutions.

2. The NPP has cancelled the automatic posting after completion of the Nurses' Training College. Under the NDC, once you complete your training, you are posted to your station automatically, but the NPP government has cancelled that.

3. The NPP has introduced the compulsory National Service after training which used not to be there. Under the NDC, you are posted after training to enjoy your salary. The NPP government has intentionally introduced the compulsory National Service to further burden the already burdened teacher/ trainee.

4. The NPP has introduced the unnecessary Licensing Regime where trainees have to write a separate exams based on which a trainee could either be posted or not. How prudent is it to decide to post or not post a trainee who has gone through all the ranks based on a single and separate exams? The NDC thinks this is a clever way by which the NPP government is suppressing and sabotaging teachers/ trainees. The NDC is not against giving a license to teachers, but we are against the suppressive approach. NDC has promised to scrap it off because it is inimical, injurious and in the final analysis, a clever way to siphone money from innocent trainees. A better approach will be adopted.

In conclusion, I have heard people say why is he (HE John Dramani Mahama) promising to restore the allowances? This is very simple, he meant good by scrapping the allowance in order to increase enrollment. He stood by his conviction and lost. That's a principle. Now this government says no, we are interested in the low enrollment regime and brought back the allowance. We will maintain it and reintroduce the increase in accessibility. The two are not the same.

I leave it here. Thank you.


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