PRINCOF in dire need of vehicles

Professor Samuel Awinkane Atintono, the President of the Principals of Colleges of Education (PRINCOF) has appealed to the government for official vehicles to aid administrative work of members.

‘It is very worrying that all Principals are using 15-year-old Nissan Patrol vehicles that were given by the government in 2008 as occupational vehicles. Almost all the vehicles are not roadworthy and a few of the roads are accident-prone.

‘Very sadly, we recently lost one of our colleagues, the Principal of the EP College of Education, Bimbilla, through an accident in July 2023. I am clear in my mind that if the vehicle in which our colleague was traveling was any of the modern cars, we may not have lost him,’ Professor Atintono said.

The PRINCOF President, who addressed members at its Annual National Conference, held in Bolgatanga on the theme: ‘Repositioning Colleges of Education as Centres of excellence for teacher education in Ghana,’ said the issue of vehicles for members must be taken seriously.

He said th
ere was effort by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) in 2022 to procure vehicles for the Colleges of Education, ‘But unfortunately, we have not seen that. The entire membership of PRINCOF is in dire need of these vehicles, so that we can do our work.’

Professor Atintono said the condition of service for their staff was unattractive, and indicated that although there were some improvements, in recent times, they had witnessed a few labour unrest from both teaching and non-teaching staff from the Colleges of Education regarding their conditions of service.

‘While I commend GTEC, the Ministry of Education for conducting the staff audit in the Colleges of Education in July 2022, with the view to rationalising the salaries and other conditions of service of the staff of the Colleges to be at level with that of the traditional Universities, I want to appeal to GTEC to speed up the processes for implementing to bring finality to the issue,’ he said.

Professor Atintono added that infrastructure deficit
across the 46-member Colleges of Education was of concern to the PRINCOF, ‘If you look at the Colleges of Education, none of them have the capacity to say they have enough lecture halls or residential facilities.’

He said the 43 residential facilities started by government across the Colleges in the country had stalled, except for three which were progressing steadily, noting that ‘We need this infrastructure very badly in the Colleges and something must be done.’

He said with the PRINCOF’s motto: ‘Education for Service,’ the Conference remained committed to its mission to provide excellence in teacher training, and contribution to the overall improvement of the education sector.

Professor Ahmed Abdullai Jinapor, the Director-General of the GTEC, said the Commission shared in the PRINCOF’s vision, and would work to ensure that the Colleges of Education were repositioned.

On vehicles, he said the GTEC was 80 per cent complete with the processes to purchase vehicles for the PRINCOF, ‘We went through all the
procurement processes.

‘In fact, we selected the vehicle that we were supposed to give to you; VW Touareg, a quotation was brought, we took it to Public Accounts Committee, they needed assurance from GETfund that we had the money ready to purchase those vehicles.

‘GETfund gave us a letter, unfortunately, in 2022, we all know what happened to the Cedi, the quotation was in dollars, when the Cedi started taking a dive, it went above what was budgeted and was available.

‘The good thing is, there is some money sitting down, I am working with your President to see how we can work around getting you the vehicles. It is a matter of necessity that you get vehicles,’ Professor Jinapor assured the PRINCOF.

Source: Ghana News Agency