Regional News of Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Teacher Trainees Protest Over Unpaid Allowances

Some students of St. Louis College of Education in Kumasi yesterday staged a protest against the non-payment of their 13-month accumulated allowances by government.

It comes at the time that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is struggling to catch the attention of the electorate as the party to be trusted as regards education.

The peaceful protest, which began at 7am, disrupted academic activities of the day, with most of the students lamenting about the hardships they were going through as a result of the development.

Rev. Fr. Kusi Ababio, the acting principal of the college, could do little to save the situation.

Those affected, according to the student teachers, were the second-year students who were numbering about 280.

According to the angry students, the government owed each student an average of GH¢4,095 for the 13 months. They said the last time they were paid was in August 2011.

Out of the 280 affected students, 14 of them, they noted, had not received even a pesewa as their allowance since becoming students of St. Louis College of Education.

They told DAILY GUIDE they had been unable to settle their loans contracted to pay for their fees and other expenses, making life unbearable for them.

“Our parents have become victims of ridicule because bankers are chasing them for their money they took. As we speak, majority of us have not registered for our first semester examination because of money. Each student is supposed to pay of GH¢190. This is not fair,” they lamented

The students said what had incensed the affected students most was the Controller and Accountant General telling them that its outfit had released the money for payment of the accumulated allowances and was due at their banks for cashing, which turned out to be untrue.

Patient Mensah, president of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the college, said government was supposed to pay between GH¢290 and GH¢340 to each student at the college after five months of the admission.

“We were told that after five or six months, the government will begin to pay us our allowances with which we can use to keep body and soul going. However, we were short of words when after the expiration of the agreed months, our allowances were not forthcoming.

“Initially, we reported our plight to our school authorities, and they referred us to the Ghana Education Service and the Controller and Accountant General’s office. We made several attempts before finally they paid us the August 2011 month allowance,” the SRC president stated.

According to her, since that time, the students had not received any money. She disclosed that recently, the office of the Controller and Accountant General asked them to go to their respective banks for the allowance since it had hit their accounts but the information turned out to be a hoax when students raced to their banks to withdraw money.