The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) is seeking parliamentary approval to disburse ¢20 billion to support academic research in the universities and polytechnics this year.
The amount constitutes the Research Fund component of the GETFund which is administered every year by the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE).
The Administrator of the GETFund, Mr Fosuaba Mensah-Banahene, who made this known to the Daily Graphic yesterday, expressed optimism that the facility would be approved by Parliament under the formula for the disbursement of the fund.
The Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, announced last Friday that Parliament would today consider the formula for the distribution of the GETFund for 2007 when he presented the business statement of the House for this week.
The Immediate Past Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa, was quoted in yesterday's issue of the Daily Graphic as attributing the country's under-development to the failure of the government to fund research work in the universities and other research institutions.
He said although researchers needed to conduct studies to come out with solutions to the nation's socio-economic needs, researchers in the various public universities lacked funds to undertake such academic exercises.
Mr Mensah-Banahene said generally the government was responsible for providing funds for academic research, noting that the non provision of those funds made Prof Akosa's concern justified.
He noted that research at the universities had broken down completely and so there was the need to address it.
The GETFund Administrator said the Research Fund, which was established as a component of the GETFund in 2001, was to supplement other sources of funding for such research works.
The fund, he said, provided sponsorship for the training of brilliant students to become lecturers.
Mr Mensah-Banahene said last year about ¢26 billion was approved for the Research Fund to support research and other academic pursuits at the universities and polytechnics.
Asked why the amount had reduced to ¢20 billion this year, the administrator explained that it was because of other competing demands, adding that it was possible for the amount to increase or decrease every year, depending on the prevailing circumstances.
Story by Kofi Yeboah