Trainee allowance: Opoku-Agyemang seeking political relevance, says Nyarko



Trainee allowance: Opoku-Agyemang seeking political relevance, says Nyarko
Speaking at an event in the Ashanti Region, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said the allowance was replaced with a student loan scheme


Dr Kingsley Nyarko, a member of the Parliamentary select committee on education has said that the comments by Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the 2020 vice-presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are just a means of seeking political relevance.

What Naana said
The 2020 vice-presidential candidate for the NDC said that her party did not scrap the controversial teacher trainee allowance, but rather replaced it with a loan scheme.

She said the decision was to ensure that the students had access to more money for their upkeep while undergoing training.

Speaking at Wesley College in the Ashanti Region, the former education minister said that some people had claimed on various broadcast programmes that the allowances were scrapped and that monies owed to trainees had been withheld.

“I need to emphasise that we never scrapped the allowance,” Professor Opoku-Agyemang said. “We never took anybody’s money from them. All those who were receiving the allowance, received [it] till it ended.”

She argued that the loans that were granted to the teacher trainees were twice the amount given to them as allowances.

“We gave them the loans, that were about twice what they were getting as allowances because we thought they needed more.

“So, the people who came on air saying ‘Because of my allowance I cannot pay my fees’ were lying, and I was saddened by that because nobody took their money from them,” Opoku-Agyemang said.

Seeking political relevance
But speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Monday (25 April), Nyarko said: “I remember that on 14 August 2020 on Ghanaweb, the same Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said that NDC never cancelled teacher trainee allowance and if you juxtapose what I told you earlier on, then it is clear that what she is saying is completely untrue. And again, do you know that on 14 October 2016, the then president, John Mahama indicated that teacher trainee allowances are still cancelled?”

“That’s what he said. So, they cancelled it and that’s a fact and this current administration restored the cancelled teacher trainee allowance. That’s why I made a point that she’s trying to seek political relevance because, if you’re observant and watch the media space, you realise that the NDC is coming after her and she’s scared that’s why she’s making this pronouncement,” Nyarko added.

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