The Outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, has stated that the new Research Fund will be rendered useless if those appointed to manage it have no background in research themselves.
According to him, several ministries have representatives on the management of the fund, cautioning that once there are no people directly involved in research, the fund might not be put to good use.“If you look at the system that’s been put in place in order to manage the fund, there’s not one single person there who knows about research,” Professor Ernest Aryeetey said.
“They are representing Ministry of this, Ministry of that; the typical way of doing things. You are there because your ministry must be interested in this. It doesn’t matter whether you know anything about research or not. The fund will be in place but the research won’t get done because those managing it don’t know how to do research anyway and those going there don’t do any research anyway. So the structure of it will make it useless,” Professor Ernest Aryeetey said
Speaking at a forum in Accra, Professor Ernest Aryeetey stated that, the Research fund appeared to have been created to address issues concerning Book and Research allowances.
However, he believes a bigger research funding issue persists, which the limited fund would be able to solve.
“It is quite clear in the document that the only reason for creating the fund is to deal with the Book and Research Allowance. You are doing the right thing of having the fund in place, but for a very wrong reason of solving a small problem that can be dealt with directly,” Professor Aryeetey added.
President Mahama announced earlier in July, that government has released 37 million Ghana cedis to the Controller and Accountant Generals Department, to pay Book and Research allowances for the 2015-2016 academic year as this will help in enhancing research
He however added that, it was his hope that a consensus will soon be reached on the mutually acceptable National Research fund.
The Finance Minister, when presenting the budget before Parliament, said the payment of the research allowances across board for lecturers would be replaced with the Tertiary Education Research Fund, where lecturers will apply for monies to conduct proper research work.
He said at the time that, a draft bill for the establishment of the Fund was before Cabinet, and will soon be laid before Parliament.
Several tertiary teacher unions including the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), have threatened strikes in recent months over delays in paying the allowances.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana