More than a third of the 37 million cedis released by government for the payment of Book and Research will go to staff who have nothing at all to do with research.
Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa revealed this on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday.
He said out of the 6,483 public sector workers who benefit from the Book and Research Allowance, 2,230 are non-academic staff whose job descriptions do not include any book and research related activities.
“We hold the view that the Book and Research Allowance’s arrangement has not really aided research in a way that it can and should,” he said.
This view, he said, is based on the fact that “under the current arrangement, the book and research allowances are spread thinly across the board…there is a growing number of non-teaching staff, non-lecturers or non-core academic staff who are receiving the book and research allowance.”
These allowances have been a sticking point in the relationship between government and some teacher unions, notably, the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Polytechnic Teachers’ Association of Ghana (POTAG).
The two associations have at different times called strikes to pressurize government to pay the allowances.
A few years ago, government announced it was scrapping the allowances and replacing them with a National Research Fund.
This proposal was met stiff resistance from the associations but the government stood its grounds, insisting the Fund was the best way forward.
However, President John Mahama at the weekened announced that an amount of 37 million cedis had been released to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to pay the book and research allowance.