President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh, has lamented the issues of delayed payment of allowances to both teachers and nurses’ trainees in the country, indicating government should scrap the allowances if it cannot make payments.
According to him, the main issue has to do with the fact that government has instituted training allowances, however, payments of these monies have become even problematic for the government.
He revealed that alhough it’s a good initiative to cushion these trainees to facilitate their education, it’s been eighteen months and they’ve not been paid.
Mr Kyeremeh stated that these students are now saddled with the challenge of pleading with government to pay their training allowances.
“If we’ve instituted this good cause which is supposed to cushion these students and we are not even getting funds to pay these students, then what’s the essence of having the nurses and teachers training allowances?… If it was consistently coming, then on any day you could say that it’s a good intervention – the amounts of monies are not even coming.”Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh
Furthermore, Mr Kyeremeh suggested that if government is finding difficulties in paying these allowances, then, it will be prudent that the allowances are “fused into the fees so that it’s paid to cater for a lot of things”.
He explained that currently, students particularly within the nurses training schools, are tasked to pay for their own feeding along with the exorbitant fees.
“… Most of the students who are supposed to be fed, now the allowances come, and the feeding components has been fused into the fees and their school fees keeps on skyrocketing… I would love them pay less fees than bring in the allowance and [increase] the school fees which now most of the students are not able to attend school because of the high fees that is being paid…”Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh
Addressing school feeding challenges
Commenting on issues surrounding feeding of senior high schools students in the country, Mr Kyeremeh noted that matters regarding feeding has been one of the key things NUGS has been advocating for especially with the former administration last year.
He highlighted that as part of the Justice for Africa program held on the 20th of October every year, NUGS advocated the GHC0.95 feeding component being given schools to be increased to ensure proper and consistent feeding of students.
Additionaly. Mr Kyeremeh revealed that since senior high schools are part of NUGS, the union is currently working on the establishment of other 14 regional SRCs in the various regions towards his vision of building an inclusive NUGS so that collectively, it can push for a positive advocacy.
“Just last week, we submitted a proposal to the director general of GES, hoping that he augments the establishment of the other regional SRCs so that together, we can bring all those leaders on board, so, that when there are issues worrying the front, we could have these leaders coming from all these facets of the SRCs discussing the progress, worrying issues and how we could clearly address some of these issues.”Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh
On the issue of flooding which has made waves, the NUGS President lamented its impact on teaching and learning in schools impacted by the Akosombo dam spillage. He emphasized that in the 21st century, Ghana cannot have the education of young ones jeopardized because of a misfortune.
“The works of NADMO shouldn’t only be when there’s an issue then they rush to find practicable means to solve the challenge. In the coming days, a feasibility test should be run on these vicinities that have these rivers. Now, you’re in a way truncating the lives of these young kids when it comes to education because of this misfortune.
“So, if you cannot really find an immediate solution to this particular issue, our students will be wallowing in worries, waiting that the issue will be solved…”Daniel Oppong Kyeremeh
To address the problem, Mr Kyeremeh iterated recommendations by NUGS for government to undertake feasibility works to ascertain the cause of the flooding and proactively deal with any future recurrence.