Book and research allowance still relevant – Dominic Fobih

Former Minister of Education in the erstwhile Kufuor administration, Professor Dominic Fobih has justified the need for government to pay book and research allowance to lecturers in tertiary institution.

In his view, the objective for the introduction of the allowance is more relevant today due to changes in syllabus and the large numbers of students admitted into public universities.

Prof Fobih made the comment while reacting to government’s intent to replace the book and research allowance with a national research fund.

The GHȼ 3.75 million fund, according to the Education Ministry forms part of efforts to ensure value for money.

But the university lecturers under umbrella bodies like University Teachers Association (UTAG) and Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) have vowed to resist any attempt by government to scrap the book and research allowance.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, Prof Dominic Fobih warned of dire consequences if the book and research allowance is scrapped.

According to him, it is naive for anyone to presume that lecturers don’t do research because not all research findings end up in the form of books and journal articles.

 The former Education Minister described as “a propaganda gimmick” the impression being created by some government appointees that the book and research allowance is just to put monies in the pocket of lecturers”.

“Government must empower the universities to do internal checks and balances on their lecturers if it is in doubt. If a lecturer fails to do research for two years, he or she could be sacked and I think that is enough punishment for the person” he stressed.

Prof Fobih urged government to make the research fund a counterpart funding since the book and research allowance forms part of condition of service of university lecturers. Story by Ghana/ Gyasiwaa

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