National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NCD), Sammy Gyamfi has said that the cancellation of the teacher trainees’ allowance under former President John Mahama, was a Cabinet decision led by the president himself so it cannot be blamed on his running mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang.
Since the selection of Prof. Naana Opoku Agyemang as running mate for John Mahama, the New Patriotic Party has been drumming the message that the female professors, who was Education Minister under John Mahama, led the charge to cancel the teacher trainees’ allowance.
The cancellation of the allowance was met with public outcry and some believe it contributed to the removal of John Mahama as president.
However, at a press conference on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the NDC Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, said the claims that Prof Opoku-Agyemang masterminded the cancellation of the allowance is false.
“The decision to replace teacher trainee allowance with student loan was a cabinet decision and not a ministerial decision,” he said.
He further averred that the former Education Minister cannot be held accountable for a decision taken at Cabinet, and, therefore, criticisms of Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang are uncalled for.
According to Sammy Gyamfi, because the policy was not properly understood by many, it was exploited by NPP during the 2016 campaign for cheap political capital.
He also indicated that a new NDC Government would not scrap the trainee allowances as that forms part of the party’s campaign messages.
He said currently, over 2000 newly qualified trained teachers who have passed their licensure exams and undergone the one-year mandatory national service are still home without employment, something he said the NDC would address when they come back to power.
Sammy Gyamfi said John Mahama’s choice of Prof. Opoku-Agyemang as a running mate is a masterstroke, and urged the Ghanaian electorate to support her and vote for the opposition party in the 2020 elections.
However, questions are being asked by many Ghanaians about these claims made by Sammy Gyamfi.
“Why are they promising to keep the students allowances in place if they saw the sense in its cancellation?” James Owusu, a teacher in a school in Tema Community 4 quizzed.
Another concern of Ghanaians is the claim by Sammy Gyamfi that the cancellation of the allowances was a Cabinet decision, but not a ministerial one.
“Cabinet meetings are held with sector ministers to discuss pertinent issues and policies affecting the lives of the people. Ministers table these policies for consideration by the house for adoption or rejection. Without Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang tabling the cancellation policy, there was no way it would have received presidential assent,” Abdul Jalil, a resident at Madina argued.