Dr. Clement Apaak

The Minority in Parliament has questioned the delay in the release of funding to Colleges of Education which already has a budgetary allocation.

According to the Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak, there is no excuse for the government’s failure to fulfill its obligations to teacher trainees.

Teacher trainees risk starvation from next month because their institutions are cash-strapped.

Speaking to Citi News, Dr. Apaak wondered why the government has reneged on its promise.

“The question is why has there been a delay? Why has the government failed to meet its obligations to the Colleges of Education and why has the NPP government failed to fulfill its manifesto promise?” he quizzed.

He observed that many colleges of education have been compelled to “procure food items on credit.”

“Their creditors are after them, they cannot pay, and it is clear that their creditors are now refusing to grant any more items including food items to the Colleges of Education on credit, and it is a very sad development,” Mr. Apaak added.

He indicated that the situation should not be so, given that funding had been allocated for the payment of teacher trainee training allowance.

The leadership of teacher trainees in Colleges of Education in the country has vowed to resist all attempts to deprive them of their three square meals per day.

It follows a new directive by the National Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education  – Ghana (PRINCOF) following delays in the payment of six-month feeding fees arrears by the government.

The trainees will from May 8, 2022, feed themselves according to the new directives.

According to PRINCOF, this is the best option to prevent a disruption in the schools’ academic calendar.

PRINCOF’s proposals

In a statement, PRINCOF said, “suppliers have backed their threats of not supplying any food items to Colleges with concrete action by not supplying Colleges with any food items until they have been paid money owed them.

To ensure a smooth academic calendar, PRINCOF says it has adopted the following measures:

  1. Trainee teachers will be provided with two meals, breakfast and supper only for one week, from April 23 to April 30, 2022
  2. Trainee teachers from May 1 to May 8, 2022, shall be given lunch only.
  3. After May 8, trainee teachers would be asked to provide their own meals until their feeding allowances have been paid,” it said.
  4. Food vendors are being encouraged to increase the quantity of daily meals they cook for sale to students.

“These measures are meant to ensure that there is no disruption of the academic calendar,” the statement ended.