The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Prof. John Owusu Agyapong, has called for a functioning mechanism for research in the country’s universities rather than the current book and research allowances.
Prof. Agyapong says the book and research allowances that the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG) fights for every year are not fit for research that is capable of supporting a national agenda.
According to him, the current book and research allowances are mostly used by lecturers to buy building materials like roofing sheets and cement bags or spent on things unrelated to research.
Prof. John Owusu Agyapong
Delivering the keynote address at the 3rd Research Awards and Grant Ceremony at the University of Cape Coast, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences called for a better package for research that would make an impact on the nation.
“Another question that must be asked — and I hope UTAG does not shoot me here — if there is a functional mechanism for research, do we still need the book and research allowance in its current form? My answer is NO!” he stressed.
Prof. John Owusu Agyapong further argued that the book and research allowance that UTAG demands every year is no more than a salary enhancement.
“We need better salaries so let’s talk about better salaries. Let’s talk about better teaching aids. Let’s make sure those things exist. But to assume that if a lecturer gets $1,500 in a year that will help me do research, is a lie.
“Some people are looking forward to it to buying roofing sheets, iron rods, cement and pay their children’s school fees. Yeah, I know! So let’s not camouflage it. Our conditions are not good enough. Let’s make sure that our conditions are good but let’s look for a good research funding mechanisms,” he urged.
Professor John Owusu Gyapong, who is also a Public Health Physician and an Epidemiologist, urged UTAG to dream wild and explore for more research funding avenues available from any institutions.
Prof. John Owusu Gyapong further charged the University of Cape Coast to use its role as the premier institution of education in the country to help address the myriad of challenges confronting the education sector in the country.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof George K.T. Oduro, said the University of Cape Coast is taking steps to make public its research contribution.
The Research Awards and Grant Ceremony marks a major intervention by the University of Cape Coast to deepen the
University’s contribution in the area of research to solve societal challenges.
Research grants were given to researchers to help their researches.