The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has urged government ensure that their book and research allowances are paid at the beginning of each academic year.
Its President Dr Harry Agbanu explained that the payment of the allowance to teachers at the start of the academic year is critical to enhancing research work.
“We wish government will look again at the current arrangements and make sure these monies are paid at the beginning of the academic year rather than waiting to the end of the year,” he told 3FM 92.7
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 John Mahama at the weekend announced the release of GHC37 million to the Controller and Accountant’s Department for onward disbursement as book and research allowances for the 2015-2016 academic year.
But Dr Agbanu said the announcement of the release of amount is not the ultimate, noting what they are concerned about is the time the money will hit their accounts.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Francis Gbadago, has welcomed the call by UTAG but said implementing it will require the input of all stakeholders.
He said members of UTAG have always been convenient with the current mode of payment of the allowances since this has been in place for a very long time.
“We all need to start the processes involved in the payment of the allowances early in order to prevent any future delays in payment,” he said.