Government to build 300-bed hostel blocks in colleges of education from June 1

The government is expected to start construction of 300-bed hostel blocks in the 45 colleges of education from June 1, 2022.

According to Ministry of Education spokesperson Kwasi Kwarteng, this has become necessary due to the transformation of colleges into institutions offering a four-year Bachelor of Education degree.

Construction of the three-storey blocks, estimated to cost ¢485 million, is being funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC).

The initiative is intended to help accommodate the increased number of students and improve teaching and learning, Kwarteng said in a Facebook post on Monday.

In an earlier media interview on Friday, Sector Minister Dr. Yaw Adutwum explained that 45 local contractors will be contracted to carry out the projects.

He said they should complete the work in 15 months, adding that the blocks would be handed over to colleges by August 2023.

To ensure a quick implementation of the initiative, the minister said that GTEC and GETFund are making the necessary efforts to mobilize a loan of at least 10% of the contract amount for each contractor.

At the same time, the construction works will create more than 2,500 direct and indirect temporary jobs for young people.

Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) threatened to withdraw their services due to accommodation issues.

They warned of dire consequences for teacher education if urgent action is not taken to address what they call an infrastructure crisis.

PRINCOF blamed the situation on increased student admissions without corresponding infrastructure upgrades, following the shift from degree-granting to degree-granting institutions.

“With the three-year degree, we were getting by with just three cores, and even with that, housing was a big issue. This is not enough to prepare them for the kind of teachers we want to train in the 21st century.

“Before implementing the four-year Bachelor of Education program, school principals advised the ministry and the minister at the time to exercise caution. Our position was that the government should postpone the implementation from 2018 to 2019 so that some basic infrastructure would support the numbers that would arise over the years, but this advice was not followed,” he said. note.

Some believe that the reintroduction of trainee allowances has also contributed to the high number of admissions.

The founding chairman of policy think tank IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has advocated scrapping stipends to free up funds for infrastructure expansion in colleges.

“Let people take out loans and pay them back. That’s what we all did when we went to college. I don’t see why I should feed adults who want to be teachers and at the same time give them money for their schooling.

“I don’t think that’s a good use of our money, whether it’s scrapping or reorganizing the payment of these allowances through private means,” Mr Cudjoe suggested.

This suggestion was opposed by the Ministry of Education.

Linda G. Ibarra