General News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has issued a two-week ultimatum to government to swiftly resolve concerns over the appointment of governing Councils of universities and also delay in the payment of the Book and Research allowance.
UTAG, after a meeting with the Vice Chancellors of Ghana, addressed the media expressing their disappointment that 7 months after the swearing in of the Akufo-Addo led administration, many tertiary institutions are yet to have their Councils appointed.
President of UTAG, Dr. Harry Agbanu, who spoke on behalf of the association explained that the attitude of government concerning the appointment of councils shows government’s lack of commitment to public university education in the country.
He emphasised that many of the tertiary institutions in the country aren’t operating smoothly because of the none-existence of the councils.
“It is common knowledge that the absence of Councils almost incapacitates the smooth running of tertiary institutions in Ghana and therefore cannot carry out their legitimate businesses properly and as independent academic institutions. In effect all the public universities in the country are in a state of some sought of inertia”
“UTAG has noted with extreme dismay that government since taking office from 7th of January, 2017 has not been able to constitute councils of public universities in Ghana. The government’s inability to do this whilst haven constituted other important boards of the state, we believe demonstrate government’s lack of concern of the health of public universities in the country” Harry Agbanu asserted
Book and Research allowance
Explaining the recent disputes surrounding the book and research allowance, Harry Agbanu made it clear that USAG is discontent with the undue delay of the disbursement of the funds
They believe that the government has had enough time to do all the necessary consultations and alignments necessary for the disbursement of the fund.
The association expressed worry that a month to the commencement of a new academic year, government hasn’t released the funds.
This they suggested may have dire consequence on teaching and learning.
“UTAG is unhappy with the undue delay in the processes leading to the payment of the allowance. Having in mind that the Hon. Minister of Education announced as far back as February 2017 it is incomprehensible and for that matter unacceptable that payment has not been effected till date 12 July 2017. It is instructive to note that the 2017/2018academic year begins in August and the demand for the Book and Research allowance beckons” Harry Agbanu stated
On this basis, the association has given government two weeks ultimatum to address their concerns or face the consequence of any decision that may be taken at the NEC level after the ultimatum elapses.