Accra, Nov. 25, Graphic -- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has directed the Controller and Accountant-General to release ¢3.894 billion to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for the payment of salary arrears for senior members of public universities. This follows new salary levels approved by the government for senior members of public universities with effect from January 1, 2004.
It also includes professional allowance of 50 per cent of the basic salary per month. The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, in an interview said out of the money, senior members of the School of Administration of the University of Ghana received ¢1.6 billion; the College of Health Sciences, ¢320.7 million; the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), ¢1.6 billion, and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, ¢1.6 billion.
The rest were the Encyclopaedia Africana Project, which had ¢105.4 million; the Ghana Science Association, ¢52.8 million and the School of Allied Health Sciences, ¢14.1 million. Mr Baah-Wiredu said the government appreciated the role senior members of the universities played in enhancing education in the country and would do everything within its means to motivate them.
The minister stated that the government had, for the past three years, increased feeding fees for second cycle institutions by 84 per cent. For instance, in 2001 the feeding fees were increased by 40 per cent, resulting in an upward adjustment to ¢392,000 in 2001 from the existing ¢280,000 in 2000.
He further disclosed that the upgrading of second cycle institutions in the country was on course. The minister commended the World Bank for releasing an amount of $1 million to the ministry to disburse to 40 deprived districts in the country. The money, which was being released in tranches, would be used to support equitable access to education, quality of teaching and learning and the management of education in the beneficiary districts.
He said the money would be used for the pilot programmatic schemes as part of the education strategic plan for the 40 districts. Mr Baah-Wiredu explained that planned funds disbursement to the 40 deprived districts was expected to last until 2008. A total of $32 million was expected to be released during the entire period.
He appealed to all district directors of education who were benefiting from the facility to ensure that they implemented the work plan activities and targets categorised under the support programme.
Mr Baah-Wiredu commended polytechnic teachers for going back to the lecture halls and gave the assurance that the government would do its best to resolve the impasse between it and the teachers.