The Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana has called on the Ministry of Education (MoE) to as a matter of urgency, collaborate with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to consider increasing the allowances given to Teacher Trainees.
The Association noted that, Teacher Trainee allowance remains a fundamental component in sustaining the motivation and commitment of future educators, mentioning the delay in disbursement, reduction of Trainee component of the allowance to supplement feeding component as among other issues surrounding its implementation.
Addressing a press conference, the President of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana, Mr. Jephthan Nana Kwame stated, “Teacher Trainees respectfully put forth a proposal for an upward adjustment of the Trainee allowance. We humbly request the Ministry of Education (MoE) to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to consider increasing the allowance. This substantial increment is envisioned to have a more significant impact in supporting teacher education nationwide”.
The President on behalf of the Association, further appealed to all relevant stakeholders involved to expedite action on the disbursement of the remaining allowance in arrears owed to Trainees. “This collective effort will contribute to a more sustainable and supportive environment for Teacher Trainees pursuing their education”.
Other issues raised at the press conference by the Association has to do with the implementation of the four-year B.Ed. program in Colleges of Education which Mr. Jephthan Nana Kwame, disclosed has resulted in a surge in student enrollment, causing a shortage of dormitories and lecture halls.
The implementation of the four-year B.Ed. program the Association mentioned, has led to the Introduction of shift system/ double track; All year round teaching leading to frequent industrial strikes by CETAG and CENTSAG: Reduction in the number of weeks of contact hours, decreasing from sixteen (16) to thirteen (13), then twelve (12), and currently, eleven (11); Inadequate lecture halls; and Inadequate resource centres such as Science and ICT laboratories, libraries.
The President of the Association also mentioned lack of buses in the Colleges as another challenge resulted in lateness of Teacher Trainees to partner schools for field experience, leaving transportation cost on Trainees, likewise making Trainees to walk long distances to their partner schools.
The Association further called on the Ministry of Education through the National Teaching Council (NTC) to reconsider the pass mark raised on the teacher licensing exams from 50% to 70%.
Again, they urged Authorities to further reconsider the mode of assessment being only sit-down examination, lack of adequate preparation resources such as pamphlets, a full-structured course material and delayed release of licensure results of the first B. Ed batch.
“In light of this, as Teacher Trainees, we propose the implementation of a cumulative assessment system spanning from the first year (level 100) to the final year (level 400) in Colleges of Education. This continuous assessment model would serve as the licensure qualification, ensuring an ongoing and thorough evaluation of Trainees’ progress and competency. The objective is to replace the current single high-stakes examination at the program’s conclusion, ultimately reducing candidate anxiety. We recommend maintaining the pass mark at 50% for the interim period. Additionally, we suggest conducting licensure exams immediately at the program’s conclusion. This approach aims to facilitate a smoother transition from academic training to licensure, fostering a more comprehensive and less stressful evaluation process for Teacher Trainees”.