Former President John Dramani Mahama says he would not cancel the payment of teacher and nurses’ trainee allowances should he win the 2020 presidential elections.
The payment of allowances was a major campaign issue prior to the 2016 general elections after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) scrapped the allowances in 2014.
According to Mr Mahama, the discontinuation of the allowances by his government then, allowed for the expansion of various health and educational infrastructure in the country, as well as remove the restrictions on admissions to the various training institutions.
The Akufo-Addo-led administration however restored the allowances after winning the 2016 polls.
Speaking during one of his interactive digital conversations dubbed ‘Let’s talk with JM’ on Sunday, MR Mahama said his government would continue with the payment of the allowances, while gradually migrating trainees unto the Students Loan Scheme.
“You know that it was a very critical issue in the run-up to the 2016 elections. What I had said was that we were not going to cancel the allowances. We were going to migrate the health trainees and educational trainees unto the student loan scheme. Now what I have said going up to the 2020 elections is that, we are going to let the status quo remain. It means that we are going to continue paying trainee allowances, but we are going to improve the student loan and adapt it so that it serves the same purpose as the allowances.”
“So we will increase the amount under the Student Loan Trust [Fund] and then instead of giving it to you as a lump sum, we will give it to you at regular intervals so that you continue to use it for the things you use it for. And so, once we have done it and it’s attractive and it’s good enough for you, then we will now do the migration onto the student loan scheme.
“So for now, if I become the President on January 7, 2021, we are going to maintain the status quo. It means that, they will continue to receive the allowances and when we have improved the Student Loan Scheme and made it is attractive enough for all students to go for it, then we will migrate everybody to it. So that’s my position on it as of now,” he said.