There has been a piece of information circulating on social media that the minister for education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh popularly known as ”Napo” has ordered the Student’s Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) to stop deducting the GHC4.00 from Teacher Trainee’s allowances as dues to TTAG.
The question is why.?
I learnt a negotiation went on between the various stakeholders who matter in education especially colleges of education and a consensus was reached before SLTF begun the deduction. After the negotiation and the reaching of consensus by the various stakeholders, Teacher trainees also agreed to pay the amount stated as dues without any complaint. This happened because teacher trainees know that TTAG cannot exist as a body and function efficiently and effectively without receiving dues from its members.
Let us remind ourselves that, before the cancellation of the allowances, teacher trainees were paying dues. A means was devised to receive dues from trainees until the restoration of the allowance in the 2017/2018 academic year. The question is, why is such an order from the minister for education and not any other body or stakeholder? Is it that teacher trainees are complaining about it or Dr. Prempeh lacks the knowledge of how beneficial the dues is to TTAG and trainees?
Let us all bear in mind that TTAG is not a financial institution neither is it a corporate body nor a private sector that aims at making a profit. But a union which was created and registered with respect to the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, to seek for the welfare of teacher trainees. Hence it has a legitimate right to operate fully and man its own affairs.
We are all aware that every member of us as a union is entitled to pay dues to his or her mother body to enable it to run its affairs smoothly. Unions like CETAG, POTAG, UTAG, GNAT, GNAGRAT, PRINCOF, CCT-Ghana and many other unions receive dues from its members as well. therefore TTAG is deemed to receive dues from teacher trainees.
Teacher trainees believe in TTAG alone as an association that represents us at the national level. All the other trainee Unions in one way or the other may be under the political influence and cannot fully represent trainees on a fairgrounds.
As a concerned trainee, I appeal to TTAG to take a pragmatic action immediately to resolve this issue and call for a restoration of dues. I have only one question for Dr. Prempeh. Thus, I want to know if he, as a dentist doctor and as such a member of the Ghana medical association pays dues to the union or not? If not, fine, but if yes, then why doesn’t he want TTAG to receive dues from its members? To me, there is something conspiratorial behind his intentions and we must fish it out. It may be that Dr. Prempeh sees TTAG as a strong body that represents teacher trainees and hence seeks to weaken it by employing such a diabolic strategy.
We should not forget that no one can be politically or socially independent unless he or she is economically independent. Therefore if TTAG loses its financial independence, it may have no option than to rely on bodies like MoE, NTC, NCTE and other stakeholders. In this way, they can grip TTAG as well as teacher trainees with one hand and do unto us whatever they want with the other hand. This will make TTAG a clawless and a beakless eagle that can only spy but can’t prank and tame any prey.
In order to ensure financial stability in the various colleges of education, each trainee pays an amount of GHC100.00 or GHC200.00 as SRC dues but upon that the various local TTAG executives complain of financial instability to run their affairs. If the local TTAG (SRC) complains of financial instability, how much more TTAG which is the mother Union of all trainees?
NOW FELLOW TRAINEES LISTEN TO THIS; TTAG receives GHC4.00 as dues from each trainee per our monthly allowances but teacher trainees receive an allowance for only eight months in every academic year. Mathematically if we multiply GHC4.00 by eight months it will sum up to GHC32.00 only. Therefore every trainee pays an amount of GHC32.00 as dues to TTAG for the whole academic year which l may say is merely one third and one-sixth of the GHC100.00 and the GHC200.00 respectively that trainees in some colleges pay as SRC dues.
Now l appeal to the following bodies to take a step towards resolving the issue.
I appeal to the minister for education, Dr. Matthe Opoku Prempeh to withdraw his statement and order SLTF to continue deducting the amount (GHC4.00) as dues for TTA.
I call on TTAG to rise on their feet before the sun sets to negotiate for the restoration of the dues.
On my knees, l humbly appeal to teacher trainees to accept and continue paying our dues whether the stakeholders agree to restore it. Or TTAG should devise a new medium for us to pay our dues through.
On a more serious note, the GHC32.00 is less than the GH100.00 and the GHC200.00 we pay to our local TTAG executives yet we never complained.
Logically and reasonably, it is better for us to pay our dues for TTAG to continue running our affairs than to allow ourselves to be confounded and led by some dubious sit-tight politicians who seek for their own glory into the pit of academic misery in which our future will be entangled by some diabolic political chains.
He who fights and run away lives to fight another day. But he that fights and win lives forever. A calm ocean does not make a great sailor neither can we stop the waves but we must learn to surf.
THINK ABOUT IT.
By: Kofi Tamakloe
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