The Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG) has called on educational stakeholders to reschedule the disbursement plan of trainees’ allowance to ensure that the subsequent feeding component of the allowances is paid to teacher trainees for their stay at home during the online teaching and learning.
The issue of allowance disbursement was raised at the 25th General Assembly held at Kibi Presbyterian College of Education, Kibi from 1st to 5th May 2021, on the theme “Teacher Education Advancement and Reformation; the Role of Stakeholders and the Teacher Trainee”, have considered several issues of importance to teacher trainees and unanimously issue this communique and resolutions to express our views and position on the issues that came up for discussion as far as the above theme is concerned
According to TTAG, the various stakeholders in teacher education in the country, especially the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, T-TEL Ghana, Institute of Education, Affiliated Universities, PRINCOF, GNAT, NAGRAT, ATAG, CCT, NTC, GTEC and other key stakeholders for their loyal support towards the welfare of teacher trainees and teacher education in the country.
The association however indicated that the core competencies with regards to the blended education adopted by the various colleges of education cannot be overlooked.
“Pursuant to the introduction of the Four-Year Bachelor of degree program, the Colleges of Education have runout of residential facilities and lecture halls which necessitated the implementation a hybrid system of education where students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face in the Colleges of Education.
Although, the online teaching and learning introduced in the Colleges of Education in Ghana, is said to inculcate in teacher trainees, some core competencies such as communication, collaboration, global citizenship and digital literacy, its associated ills and dire effects cannot be overlooked. In this light, below are some confrontations associated with the virtual or online learning system introduced in the educational formations of the Colleges of Education;
Insufficient technical flair on the part of Students and tutors in the colleges of education with regards to the online system of learning; High cost of data bundle for the online lectures; Poor network connectivity in some parts of the nation which adversely affect some students from fully participating in the virtual learning; Exorbitant fees in relation to the blended education; Inculcating content-based knowledge to teacher trainees to the detriment of practical and pedagogical skills needed by a teacher to effectively and efficiently teach in class; Teaching of virtually unfriendly courses like methodology, calculus and the like which lead to mass failure of examination and rote learning; Health-related issues such as eye problems and migraine as an aftermath of prolonged stay on the phone for lessons”
The association is therefore calling on the various stakeholders to as matter of urgency fix the above-mentioned anomalies to improve teacher education in the country.
DELAY IN PAYMENT OF THE TEACHER TRAINEES ALLOWANCE
The leadership commended the government for paying all the arrears of the allowance form the 2019/2020 academic year whiles capturing the 2020/202l allowance in the budget but however reminded the government through the ministry of finance and GTEC that teacher trainees upon starting the academic year have not received allowance, and therefore humbly, calls for action to be taken to redress the issue for the delay.
The General Assembly of TTAG also commended the Ministry of Education (MoE), Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) and Student Loan Trust Fund (SLT) for their enormous contributions to the welfare of teacher trainees by facilitating the payment of teacher trainees’ allowances.
The association however revealed that the previous feeding grant that was not given to trainees by PRINCOF was unpleasant and an attempt by PRINCOF to deny the ordinary trainee from enjoying their full allowance. We therefore appeal to the above-mentioned stakeholders to reschedule the disbursement plan of the allowance to ensure that the subsequent feeding component of the allowances are paid to teacher trainees for their stay at home during the online teaching and learning.
PAYMENT OF SRC DUES IN SOME COLLEGES
The leadership of TTAG also disclosed that some college principals deduct fifty percent (50%) of its SRC dues with the purpose of employing laborers to ensure proper sanitation but to no avail of the intended purpose. TTAG therefore appealed to PRINCOF to allow the local TTAG of the affected colleges to have access to the total amount of the SRC dues since it is SRC dues meant for undertaking projects but not to ensure proper sanitation in the colleges.
Additionally, they appealed to the affected Local TTAG presidents not to relent on the issue but should effectively liaise with the various College Councils for the issue to be mitigated.