Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (EduWatch), Kofi Asare says the government should cancel the College of Education (CoE) uniform policy that he has made teacher trainees look more like secondary than tertiary students.
The EduWatch Director made the proposal on Friday, June 4, 2022, in his address at the Colleges of Education (CoE) Teachers Multidisciplinary Conference on the topic: “Sustaining the Boarding System of Education In Ghana’s CoE.”
He also criticised the past and current governments for failing to upgrade accommodation facilities between the period of passing the CoE Act 847 in 2012 and 2018 when Teacher Training schools were converted to Education Colleges.
Commending the move to provide 300-bed hostels for each of the 45 Colleges of Education, he urged Principals of Colleges to negotiate the scrapping of the feeding allowance spent annually to support the construction of the hostels.
“I urge CoE Principals to lead in negotiating the scrapping of the feeding allowance and use the GH 170 million spent annually on that intervention to support the construction of hostels since GETFund was not a reliable source,” he said.
Mr Kofi Asare noted that he has observed that Colleges of Education require hostels, instead of dormitories to become fully tertiary thus the need for Principals to negotiate more for facilities rather than feeding allowance.
“Within a sector with severe liquidity constraints, and over 1,000 abandoned GETFund projects between 2017 and 2021 alone, it was important for CoEs to advocate spending efficiency for the meagre resources available,” he stated.
Asare further advised Principals and Student leadership to engage the Ministry of Education on a responsive student loan system that can replace the feeding grant without unduly affecting equitable access to college students.
Ending his speech at the Teachers Multidisciplinary Conference, he encouraged Education Colleges to diversify the mode of instruction by introducing Distant Learning Programmes which are less expensive than the boarding system.