The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has called on government to provide leadership that will drive research in the country with the aim of improving the quality of education.
Speaking at the Ghana Education evidence Summit, Professor Joseph Ampiah blamed the current low standards of education on the disconnect between research and policy-making.
The UCC Vice Chancellor believes government can bridge the gap by funding research and determining the parameters for research which will go a long to inform policy decision.
“For the most part, we have seen research policy and practice as stand-alone endeavours in which one does not influence the other. Research should be made to influence policy and practice,” he noted.
Prof Ampiah said for this to happen, policymakers, practitioners and researchers should listen to each other.
According to him, several policy decisions have not been informed by quality research and sometimes no research at all in Ghana.
He cited some African countries to drive home the importance of research to policy.
“Morroco has formulated an ambitious and a complex ten-year development plan on the basis of a detailed analysis of the system.
“Detailed analysis of cost and outcomes allowed Zambia and Guniea to move ahead rapidly with potentially controversial language and teacher education reforms,” he said.
According to him, Policymakers must set the parameters in providing funding and regulation for how we conduct research and indicate what type of research gets funded.
He said if the Ministry of Education funds research authentic information would be made available and a database could be developed to form the basis of learning-based planning and policy making.
A provision of GH¢55 million was made in the 2017 budget for the payment of book and research allowances of lecturers of public universities, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has revealed.
In addition, plans are in place for the establishment of a research fund to enhance academic research in the various universities.
“Government will pay book and research allowance and in addition establish a research fund,” the Minister stated.