GHC37m book allowance yet to reach lecturers – UTAG

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The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says its members are yet to receive the ?37 million book allowance government said it has released.

Secretary of UTAG, Samuel Nkrumbaan, told Nana Ansah Kwao IV, host of MultiTv’s news analysis programme PM Express, that the lecturers heard about the release in the media but are looking forward to receiving the said money.

There has been fierce battle between the government and the various teacher groups over the Book and Research allowance.

Government said it is going to create a Research Fund to serve as a pool to dish out money to lecturers for research work based on the quality of proposals. It decided to hold onto the 2014 and 2015 academic year book allowance.

This position by the government was supported by some people who believe the lecturers are not doing enough research to help the country.

This infuriated the lecturers resulting in series of strikes from UTAG and the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

However, in a development that has taken the lecturers by surprise, the government announced it has released the money owed them for their research barely five months to the November polls.

Though UTAG and POTAG have welcomed the news, they are yet to receive the money from the relevant body.

Mr Nkrumbaan is calling on the “powers” responsible for the disbursement to fast track the process.

He explained the impression that lecturers are not doing research in the various universities in the country is not tenable.

Per the appointment of lecturers, they are promoted based on the number of verifiable research work they do and nothing else, he said.

Executive Director of the Youth in Good Governance and Advocacy Programme, Courage Nobi, was not moved by the development.

Since both the 2015 and 2016 budget statements did not make provision for the allowance, “this is an election year spending,” he said.

Even though he agreed the lecturers deserve the money, he wondered why the government would release the allowance when it has not reached any agreement with the lecturers over the matter.

 

Source: myjoyonline