Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch, is calling for a robust student loan system to replace the payment of allowances and feeding grants given to trainees at public colleges of education.
The release of over GH¢ 67 million to public Colleges of Education to settle their six-month feeding arrears, has sparked the debate about the scrapping of feeding grants and allowances paid to teacher trainees.
A cross-section of the public is of the view, that since the colleges have been upgraded to university status, such grants should be scrapped. The allowance, which was replaced with the student loan scheme in 2016, was restored by the New Patriotic Party government in 2017.
Speaking on the subject, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, said the way out of the woods is to reinforce the student loan system.
“If you look at the issue from the physical perspective, the government already had systems working to solve these problems; the student loan. We haven’t made the student loan a responsive one. The student loan scheme has not been able to disburse monies to those who have applied and have not even given the opportunity to others to apply. The reason is that GETFund has also not been able to release monies to them.”
He also called on the government to provide the needed infrastructure to the Colleges of Education if they have been upgraded to university status.
“To the best of my knowledge, the colleges have now become tertiary institutions, and it is the responsibility of the government to upgrade their facilities to the level of a full-fleshed university.”