Government has released GHC37 million to the Controller and Accountant’s Department for onward disbursement as book and research allowances to for the public universities.
Plans are also afoot to re-tool workshops and laboratories to enable them to carry out their duties effectively towards development and growth.
President John Dramani Mahama, who announced this during a congregation at the Graduate School of the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology (KNUST), said all those interventions were being carried out to facilitate teaching and learning in the tertiary institutions.
In all 476 students graduated out of which 51 received Doctorate of Philosophy honours.
The delay in the payment of book and research allowances to the country’s public universities had remained one of the thorny issues that had, over the years, created acrimony between government and academia.
In some cases it had degenerated into sit-down strikes to drum home the issue and, therefore, the payment of the allowances could serve as a catalyst that would propel them to work peacefully to achieve set targets.
President Mahama explained that a situation where students had to rely on external sources to carry out laboratory tests and other experiments was not healthy for the growth of students, hence the Government’s resolve to fully equip their workshops and laboratories.
He said science and engineering in the universities were crucial for the socio-economic growth of the country and that was why government was taking up the re-tooling exercise through the Ghana Education Trust Fund.
President Mahama said in order to increase manpower in vocational and technical skills, government had disbursed a total of 124 million dollars to various schools to train students.
Professor William Otu Ellis, the Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, said the university would next year establish a Masters programme in Law.
He said the KNUST had the capacity to train Community Health Nurses and Environmental Health workers and gave the assurance that the construction of the new Teaching Hospital would help them to actualise that vision.
Professor Ellis, who is ending his term of office as the Vice Chancellor of the university, said the university would do everything possible to maintain its position as one of the best science and technology universities on the continent.
President Mahama later inaugurated a new lecture hall for the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources and a new Centre for Pharmacy at the university.