Former President John Dramani Mahama has pledged to continue with payment of trainee teachers and nurses allowances should he win the December 7 polls this year.
Mahama cancelled the allowance under his administration in 2014 which resulted in lots of agitations from the trainee nurses and teachers.
However, in his interactive digital conversations dubbed ‘Let’s talk with JM,’ he promised to retain the allowance when voted into power and not scrap it as suggested.
“You know that it was a very critical issue in the run-up to the 2016 elections. What I had said was we were going to migrate the health trainees and educational trainees to the student loan scheme. Now what I have said going up to the 2020 elections is that we are going to let the status quo remain. It means that we are going to continue paying trainee allowances, but we will improve the student loan and adapt it so that it serves the same purpose as the allowances,” he said.
He also revealed his intentions to increase the allowance under the Students Loan Trust Fund.
“Instead of giving it to you as a lump sum, we will give it to you at regular intervals so that you continue to use it for the things you use it for. So, once we have done it and it’s attractive and it’s good enough for you, then we will now do the migration onto the student loan scheme. So for now, if I become the President on January 7, 2021, we will maintain the status quo. It means that, we will continue to pay the allowances and when we have improved and made it attractive for all students to go for it, then we will now do the migration onto the student loan scheme. So that’s my position on it as of now,” he stressed.
The governing New Patriotic Party took advantage of the scrapped allowance and promised to restore it when voted into power in 2016.
This promise was fulfilled after President Akuffo Addo came into office and has been in effect till date.