General News of Wednesday, 21 September 2016
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has assured nurses and teacher trainees it will restore their scrapped allowances 3 months after it has been elected into office.
According to the Vice Presidential nominee of the NPP, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the NPP will budget for the full payment of allowances for all students in the various Nursing and Midwifery Training schools as well as teacher training colleges.
Speaking to nurses at the Pantang hospital in Accra during a campaign tour, Dr. Bawumiah accused government of scrapping the allowances of trainees due to its high indebtedness from excessive borrowing and the accompanying interest payments.
“They [NDC] have borrowed so much, just one year’s interest payment can pay teacher training and nurses training allowances for 42 years, and that is why Nana Akuffo Addo has given his word, when we come [into office] the very first budget before march 2017, we will restore and teacher training and nurses training allowance,” Bawumiah said.
Government in 2014 scrapped teacher trainee allowance, but there have been several calls to compel government to reintroduce it. Recently, trainee nurses in the Upper East Region warned that the status of allowances would influence their vote in the in December polls.
Government said the decision allowed it to expand various health and educational infrastructure in the country as well as remove the restrictions on admission to the various training institutions.
Government partially restores allowance
Earlier in July, government said it had restored allowances for trainee nurses after a technical committee set up by the President to review the allowances for nursing trainees, recommended payment of an abated allowance with a possibility to migrate them unto the Students Loan Scheme.
The Ghana Nurses and Midwives Trainees Association in a press conference, subsequently rejected government’s offer to pay them GHc 150 monthly as allowances.
According to them, the amount was woefully inadequate per the memorandum of understanding they signed with the Ministry of Health in 2014.
President John Mahama while on a tour in the Central Region recently, said his government would not backtrack on its decision to scrap the allowances, saying he would rather lose the elections than restore the allowances.
He tweeted; “On the matter of trainee teacher allowances, better to lose on principle than win using falsehood. We’ll not reverse the decision. #UCC Forum.”