I’d rather have all tertiary students given an allowance than for a section to benefit from the sweat of the country.
Although we may not be able to make sound judgments all the time, we need to steer clear of actions that will burden us in the future. And one potential burden for our country is the teacher and nursing trainee allowance.
The decision by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to restore trainee nurses allowance has not only proven to be illogical but also a national disaster. We will pay in the future for this politically motivated decision.
I don’t think bolstering nursing education by giving students free money is a noble idea and the best way to build a nation. It’s my considered opinion that the action will rather weaken standards at nursing schools.
I’m convinced we’re not seeing the dangers our action pose to the economy because we’re politically blind to the truth. I lauded the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government when it scrapped the allowance in 2013 with the decision to migrate the students onto the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
I believe the students at the various nursing schools are not special from their colleagues at the universities. If tertiary students are allowed to access student loan that is payable after school, why not trainee nurses?
Ex-President John Mahama had said he would not back down on his decision even if that should cost him his reelection in 2016.
“For partisan political purposes, you have your political opponents come and say when we come back we will restore trainee allowances to colleges of education. For me it is better to lose the election on principle than win it on falsehood,” the former President said in August 2016.
But when his opponent now President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo began to make political capital out of the matter, Mahama rescinded his decision.
He ordered then Finance Minister Seth Terkper to release the money to the teacher and nursing trainees. He broke his own principle which at the end played a huge role in his stunning defeat at the poll.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday paraded students at a function in Brong Ahafo to thank the President for restoring their allowance.
The students lined up one after the other to mouth ‘thank you’ to President Akufo-Addo who sat glued to his seat like an Arabian King while basking in the adulation.
It’s no longer expedient for the government to continue to take political decisions which will have huge ramifications for the country. We need to cancel trainee allowances and rechannel the money into something useful. This lifestyle should no longer be supported.
The cancellation of the nursing trainee allowance should not be about the NPP or NDC. It should about Ghana. And it should be about our collective consciousness.
Let’s act in the interest of our citizens.
The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com
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