The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) has urged government to expedite action on the payment of Book and Research Allowances (BRA) to lecturers of public universities, technical universities and polytechnics for the 2016/2017 Academic year.
It cautioned the government to fulfill its promise to lecturers to avoid any disruptions in academic work on the various campuses.
Speaking at a press conference in Takoradi in the Western Region yesterday, the Regional General Secretary of POTAG, David Worwui-Brown, said members of the association had not received any payment though the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had declared the release of the BRA last month.
“POTAG recalls the honourable Minister’s declaration of the release of the allowances during the congregations of Sunyani and Takoradi Technical Universities. POTAG is amazed that till date payment of the said allowances have not been sanctioned,” he said.
On the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities, Mr Worwui-Brown urged government to, as a matter of urgency, reconstitute the Governing Councils of the Technical Universities and Polytechnics.
He said a new governing council was needed to champion the smooth transition of the various Technical Universities as mandated by the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (ACT 922).
According to Mr Worwui-Brown, this has become necessary considering the transition procedure championed, especially by the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), Professor Mohammed Salifu.
He accused Mr Salifu of having led the NCTE to arbitrarily violate the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922), thereby causing disturbances and agitations, which could result in court action if the government did not intervene immediately.
“After the conversion of the Polytechnics to Technical Universities, Act 922 vested the running of these institutions in the hands of the various University Councils, but in what looks like a display of power, the NCTE through its Executive Secretary Prof. Salifu, is acting ultra vires, and usurping the functions of these Councils making the various unions agitated and planning huge demonstrations against their unlawful acts,” he said.
Mr Worwui-Brown said attempts by POTAG to meet the Minister had not materialised as he seemed to be avoiding planned meetings with the association.
“His outfit keeps on re-scheduling meeting appointments but has time to meet NCTE anytime they called on him,” he accused Dr Prempeh.
By Times Reporter