Trainee Teachers across the country have resolved not to pay any utility bill as being demanded by the government through the Ministry of Education, Newslinegh.com can authoritatively state.
In the view of the Trainee Teachers, once it was a campaign pledge by then Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to absorb their utility bills when voted into power, a pledge which was also captured in the party’s manifesto, there is no amount words that will convince them to change their minds.
They therefore, as a matter of fact, want to hold the NPP which is now administering the affairs of the country, to its campaign pledge to absord their utility bills.
The decision of the Teacher Trainees, Newslinegh also understands, was taken on Sunday, April 30, 2017, when they met at a General Assembly in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region to elect a president for the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TAG), the umbrella body of all Teacher Trainees across the country.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had revealed that the government shall not pay utility bills for Teacher Trainees when he met stakeholders in the sector at a meeting held on April 12, 2017, at the conference room of the Ministry of Education.
Instead, the feeding grant and utility bills should be deducted at source from the Teacher Trainees’ allowance when restored in September, 2017.
Newslinegh, understands the meeting was attended by the Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, his deputy, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, the Director-General of Education and the leadership of the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana.
Sources say the Teacher Trainees see the decision of the Ministry of Education as a stab in the back since they had earlier been assured by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education at a meeting held between the two parties in March, 2017, that government would absorb their utility bills.
The President of the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Region branch, Seth Prah, commenting on the issue in an interview with Akwasi Nsiah on Kasapa FM, confirmed the decision taken by the Association.
“We have resolved not to pay the utility bills. The previous government led by President Mahama had earlier communicated to us through a deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okujeto Ablakwa that no College of Education should pay utility bills. This was also reaffirmed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP in their manifesto. So, we have decided not to pay and we will soon come out with a communiqué to that effect,” he noted.