Government has released GHc55 million for the payment of book and research allowance for lecturers at the various public universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, in a speech read on his behalf, at the first congregation of the Sunyani Technical University, on Saturday, said the amount has been earmarked in the 2017 budget.
He said plans were also underway by government to establish a research fund, to enable universities in the country effectively undertake research.
According to Dr. Prempeh, government was committed to ensuring that research become the driving force of the development agenda of the country.
He also indicated that government had taken steps to abolish the payment of utility bills by students in tertiary institutions so as to bring relief to parents and students.
Dr. Prempeh noted that the Auditor-General’s report has indicted some tertiary institutions for mismanaging funds, and said that government would soon carry forensic audit into such schools in order to correct the anomaly.
He, therefore, urged school management boards to report mismanagement of funds to the appropriate authorities.
The Vice Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University, Professor Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, said the university sought to upgrade academic performance as captured in its five-year strategic plan.
He said the university was sponsoring some faculty and staff members to pursue PhD programmes, especially in engineering, science and technology.
“This will enhance the expertise of our faculty and staff to handle the competency-base training programmes in the various academic departments, which is our core mandate as a technical university”
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said plans are far advanced to by the Sunyani Technical University to sign agreements with other universities pursuing Applied Sciences in Germany and United States.
He said the Sunyani Technical University intended to establish satellite campuses in the Brong-Ahafo Region to make technical and vocational education accessible to the people in the region.
According to Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah, the university has acquired 204 acres of land at Amasu in the Dormaa area, aside the 60 acres acquired at Duayaw Nkwanta, to establish the campuses.
He appealed to the government to lift the embargo on employment in order for the university to replace the vacancies and build bungalows and classroom blocks for the educational institutions.
A total of 1,684 students who graduated in the various disciplines were presented with degrees, diplomas and certificates.
From Daniel Dzirasah, Sunyani