In the upcoming year, the government has announced plans to allocate approximately One Billion Cedis towards the allowances of student nurses and teachers pursuing their careers in colleges.
This was disclosed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta during the reading of the 2024 budget at parliament this month.
This decision has sparked controversy, with many criticizing the amount as wasteful.
Some argue that all tertiary students should be entitled to a student loan instead of specific groups receiving allowances.
Critics point out that student teachers, both allowance and loan beneficiaries, will graduate with the same degrees and teach in the same schools, regardless of the type of financial support they receive.
They argue that the funds allocated for allowances could be better used to build new schools or hospitals, providing a more sustainable solution to the education and healthcare sectors.
The presence of a guarantor-free student loan system has also been highlighted, with critics questioning why this system is not being utilized to provide financial assistance to all needy tertiary students.
One critic expressed disappointment, stating, “Our policies have no systemic value; what we have are short-termist, slogan-centric interventions that produce only outputs.”
As the debate over government spending on student allowances continues, it remains to be seen how this decision will impact the education and healthcare sectors in Ghana.