The restoration of trainee nurses allowance has once again generated a lot of hullabaloo about nothing. The trainee Nurses Allowance was scrapped by the previous President John Mahama and his social democratic administration for reasons that are not clear to us. It was therefore welcome news to many aspiring nurses when the NPP made a campaign promise to restore these allowances.
For us in Public Agenda, any social intervention which reduces the hardship suffered by young people and their parents in this country is a welcome move. More than that, the availability of these allowances to young Trainee Nurses and similar institutions is to attract as many young Ghanaians to join these professions, and to reduce the hardship that the lack of allowances places on parents. To deny young aspiring professionals the support they need can never be justified on the grounds of prudence. It is even more bizarre when those who make these arguments have been voted for by the same poor people. The role of government is to support its citizens, and they’re citizens.
We in Public Agenda are yet to be convinced by arguments that the restoration of allowances should not be a government priority. That is the argument of the uncaring well to do minority. It is unfortunate that we live in a society where social intervention meant to help the poor, disadvantaged and the needy are always dismissed well to do. Those same people who only yesterday were beneficiaries of fee-free education.
Firstly, this nation must be proud that it has a government which is living up to its election promises. Secondly, we should welcome all social interventions aimed at alleviating the hardships which some Ghanaians are facing. Thirdly, it shows that Ghana can look after its own. If nurses dance and cheer the President, it is because they know what it means to be poor. If parents dance and cheer because of free SHS, it means they appreciate the efforts of government that at least thinks about them
As for academic, partisan driven and poorly argued statements to the contrary, they belong to the dustbin of history. They belong to a different era when we listened more to the International monetary Fund (IMF) than our own citizens. Even Government has its priorities.
The governments free SHS, its restoration of Nurses allowances etc, should be seen within a wider framework of support.
What Public Agenda would like to see is a comprehensive fee-free and compulsory education policy from kindergarten to University. The government needs to establish an Education Commission to look at the quality of education in this country and redress then in haste. We cannot wait. Our education system was better before and it can be repaired. It has been done before and it can be done even now.
We wholeheartedly welcome moves to unburden parents and support our young people in any way possible.
Let those who do not think it can be done because they have no need for it, move away and make room for the President and his team who believe it can be done. YES, WE CAN HELP THE POOR. YES, WE CAN SUPPORT OUR POOR NURSING TRAINEES. YES WE CAN!