…Just to announce restoration of nursing trainees’ allowances…after cutting intake by 1,600
What has been seen as a reduction of statecraft into slapstick monkey business under President Nana Akufo-Addo hit a high note yesterday when the government organized a whole durbar just to announce the restoration of Teacher Trainee allowances.
The durbar, which had come off at the Nursing and Midwifery Training College in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, had as climax, President Akufo-Addo’s announcement of the restoration of the allowances.
The President had announced that starting from this September; the nursing trainees across the country are to receive a monthly allowance of Ghc400.
Side attractions of the event included the distribution of T-shirts, specially printed for the durbar to nursing trainees there, some of which were too small to wear, and Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu’s parade of some of the nursing trainees to shake the President in thanksgiving before TV cameras.
But Ghanaians who had been shocked by the pettiness of the whole durbar were even shocked further when the President announced that the restoration of the allowance is going to saddle the state with a monthly bill of Ghc23.2million.
Many people have begun wondering why the government would remove nursing trainees from a Student Loan Scheme that is serving most of Ghana’s tertiary students to gift them with such a whopping monthly amount.
The question is even more stoked by the fact that the same Akufo-Addo government is in the process of ending a bond system with graduate nurses so that an existing practice of government engaging graduate nurses will stop.
Indeed, according to a road map that is already out, by the end of 2017, the bonding system will be stopped by government.
It has been asked whether it is wise to give free money to nurses that are not going to be bonded by the state.
Interestingly, yesterday’s durbar had been organized by a government which is so broke that it is now borrowing to pay salaries. Cash unavailability has also meant that only 20% of budgeted funds for the Free SHS have been released.
And yet the durbar, which had officially removed nursing trainees from a Students Loan Scheme and put them on special allowance of Ghc400 a month is going to cost government Ghc23.2 million every month.
Again, this same government, which is willing to spend Ghc23.2million in free money for a few nursing trainees, has cut down intake into nursing training colleges.
In August, this year, the government reduced intake by a whopping 1,600 students, constraining many qualified people wishing to do nursing to sit at home.
The reduction was reversal of progress that had been achieved by the predecessor NDC government which had agreed to requests by nursing schools across the country to scrap the allowances in order to end a quota system.
Following the end of the quota system, the NDC government had put nursing trainees on Student Loans just like every other tertiary student, but in consequence opened up the opportunity for more people qualified to go to nursing school to gain admission.
However, the NPP, which was in opposition at the time, had incited nursing trainees against the NDC government only come to power and reintroduce the quota system that cut down admission into nursing schools by 1,600.
But as shocked as many Ghanaians were about the durbar, many others were tickled. A trolling on social media has seen some Ghanaians prophesying that the same Akufo-Addo, who has minded to organize a whole durbar to announce the restoration of nursing trainee allowances, will soon organize a closing ceremony to officially mark the Black Stars’ inability to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels