Principals of the Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) are warning of dire consequences for teacher training in the country if urgent steps are not taken to address what they say is an infrastructure crisis.

They blame the situation on the increase in student admissions without a corresponding upgrade in infrastructure, following a shift from diploma to degree-awarding institutions.

Vice-President of the National Conferences of Principals of Colleges of Education, Dr Sulemana Idrissu, has explained that teacher training will be affected by the current situation.

“With the three-year diploma, we were managing with just three core, and even with that, accommodation was a big problem. That is not adequate to prepare them for the kind of teachers we want to produce in the 21st century.

“Before implementing the four-year B. Ed programme, principals did advise the Ministry and the then Minister to tread cautiously.

“Our position was that government should defer the implementation from 2018 to 2019 so that some basic infrastructure will take care of the numbers that would come up in the years, but that advice was not worked on,” he noted.

The Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana insists that the focus must be on providing infrastructure.

National President of TTAG, Dimbie Abdul-Manan, observed that the restoration of the trainee allowances has equally contributed to increased enrollment.

“So when we are talking about the issue of infrastructure deficit, yes, there is a crisis, and we need to look at that. Right from the beginning, we have been advocating privatisation in the Colleges of Education.”

“You cannot say that in the Universities today, they don’t have infrastructure deficit; we can’t run away from that fact. So what we should be looking at now is improving the infrastructure deficit,” he added.

The spokesperson for the Education Ministry, Kwesi Kwarteng, admits a significant infrastructural deficit in education colleges. However, he said the issues are being resolved.

He is, however, kicking against the cancellation of the Teacher Trainee Allowances, which some have said can be used to improve the infrastructure.