The debate on whether it is rationale, economical, or efficient for government to continue paying Teacher Trainee allowances and feeding continue unresolved.
Yet, the recent cry by the trainees over the unpaid allowances for the past seven months has awaken the call for a proper review and analysis of the scheme and whether it has outlived its intended purpose over years.
According to the National President of the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG), Mr. Jonathan Dzunu, the government currently owes students in the second to fourth year, 7 months’ allowance while the first years have also not been paid for the past 3 months.
Given that there are 46 training colleges in the country with an average of 1,200 students in each of these institutions, it suffices for the purpose of analysis to estimate that there are approximately 300 students in each level.
As such, at the end of every month, a teacher trainee in any of the 46 training colleges takes homes GH¢400, a little lower than GH¢559.04 paid to National Service Personnel who are serving the nation and currently contributing to the country’s GDP.
Now, If the government decides to clear the seven months’ arrears owed the trainees in L200 to L400, government will be expected to part ways with GH¢115, 920, 000. Additionally, government will require GH¢16, 560, 000 to clear the three months’ arrears owed students in the first year. Together, government will need GH¢132, 480, 000 to clear the arrears of the trainees.
The swift response from the Ministry of Education to release about GH¢67 million to pay trainee allowances sent a signal that government has the capacity to meet the wage demands of other unions.
This will further create room for more strikes actions over unmet labor demands. For instance, on April 21, 2022, the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) declared a strike over the government’s failure to pay its members their neutrality allowance.
Considering government’s commitment to this policy, it will require GH¢264, 960, 000 to pay these Teacher Trainees each year, all things being equal. As of now, government spends about GH¢19, 200 on each of the trainees as allowance and feeding support at the end of their 4 years’ academic pursuit.