The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) has released GH¢50 million feeding grant to be disbursed to the 38 colleges of education in the country for the 2015/16 academic year, the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has stated.He said the government was working hard to ensure that the late release of funds that usually incurred the displeasure of teacher trainees became a thing of the past.
He explained the 2016 manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and why the party should be re-elected.
Touching on a wide range of issues on what the next NDC government would do if re-elected, the Vice-President said the ongoing infrastructure projects at all the colleges of education would be prioritised to ensure their early completion.
Cautioning the students against any attempt to vote for a change in administration, he said any such decision posed a serious threat to the progress of the country, adding that “such a mistake will erode the gains we have made so far.”
“Ghana is not ready for any disruptive and retrogressive change but rather the kind of change that is happening right now under John Mahama,” Mr Amissah-Arthur said.
He described the NDC’s change as transformational, arguing that unlike the disruptive change that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was preaching, that of the NDC stood for progress and development.
Responding to questions from the students on the vex issue of the withdrawal of allowances to teacher trainees, the Vice-President explained that the decision by the government to replace the allowances with a loan scheme was to help increase the enrolment of teacher trainees into the various colleges.
He indicated that the withdrawal of the allowances had eliminated the quota system of admission to the colleges of education, hence giving more people, who hitherto would not have had the opportunity to train as teachers, to do so.
Mr Amissah-Arthur assured the students that the government would ensure they were cushioned against any hardship as a result of the withdrawal and should not accept any political party that was playing politics with the issue.
The Administrator of the GETFund, Mr Sam Garbah, who was among the Vice-President’s entourage, said the Student Loan Trust Fund had increased its loan allocation by 25 per cent to further cushion teacher trainees against any difficulty.
For him, it was only an NDC government that invested in the well-being of teacher trainees and recalled that while the erstwhile NPP administration, in eight years, spent less than GH¢680,000 on colleges of education, the NDC, since 2009, had disbursed GH¢300 million to resource them.
A First Vice Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, presented copies of the NDC manifesto to the school authorities for distribution to the students to study.
Earlier, the Principal of the Assin Fosu College of Education, Nana Owusu Addo, called for an expansion of the girls’ hostel and the provision of other infrastructure to improve teaching and learning.