Trainee allowance: Opoku-Agyemang seeking political relevance, says Nyarko

Speaking at an event in the Ashanti Region, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said the NDC government replaced the allowance with a student loan scheme

Dr Kingsley Nyarko, a member of the parliamentary select committee on education, has said that the comments by Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the 2020 vice-presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are just a means of seeking political relevance.

What Naana said

The 2020 NDC running mate said that her party did not scrap the controversial teacher trainee allowance, but rather replaced it with a loan scheme. She said the decision was to ensure that students had access to more money for their upkeep while undergoing training.

Speaking at Wesley College in the Ashanti Region, the former education minister said that some people had claimed on broadcast programmes that the allowances were scrapped by the NDC and that monies owed to trainees had been withheld.

“I need to emphasise that we never scrapped the allowance,” Professor Opoku-Agyemang said. “We never took anybody’s money from them. All those who were receiving the allowance received [it] till it ended.”

She argued that the loans granted to the teacher trainees were twice the amount given to them as allowances.

“We gave them the loans that were about twice what they were getting as allowances, because we thought they needed more.

“So, the people who came on air saying ‘Because of my allowance I cannot pay my fees’ were lying, and I was saddened by that because nobody took their money from them,” Opoku-Agyemang said.

Seeking political relevance

However, speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin on Monday (25 April 2022), Kingsley Nyarko, who also serves as the MP for Kwadaso, said: “I remember that on 14 August 2020 on Ghanaweb, the same Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said that NDC never cancelled teacher trainee allowance; and if you juxtapose what I told you earlier on, then it is clear that what she is saying is completely untrue.

“Again, do you know that on 14 October 2016, the then president, John Mahama, indicated that teacher trainee allowances are still cancelled?”

“That’s what he said. So, they cancelled it and that’s a fact, and this current administration restored the cancelled teacher trainee allowance.

“That’s why I made a point that she is trying to seek political relevance … If you’re observant and watch the media space, you realise that the NDC is coming after her and she’s scared, that’s why she’s making this pronouncement,” Dr Nyarko added.

Listen to Nyarko in the audio clip attached below:



Nicholas Brown

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Nicholas Brown

I am a multi-media journo with Asaase Radio. I tell stories that shape the difficulties of life. Let's talk about anything acting, stage direction and making an impact.

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