Mike Oquaye: We Won’t Lower Standards For Research Assistants’ Selection
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has told Parliamentarians that the house will not lower its standards for the selection of research assistants.
Currently, MPs are required to have research assistants who have a minimum of first class and second upper bachelor's degrees and master's degrees, but some MPs believe loyalty and trust should be valued more than academic degrees in the selection of research assistants.
Graduates recommended by the MPs for recruitment were turned down after failing to meet the criteria.
Delivering a ruling on the floor of the house, Prof. Oquaye directed the clerks of the house to issue letters to the research assistants who meet the qualification threshold by next week Wednesday.
“This must be compatible with the overall interest of Parliament because we want to complement people…The work of these assistants will impact on the overall work of Parliament so please find a person who falls within the standard as clearly laid down. It means therefore that Parliament as an institution is not going to compromise over that standard,” the Speaker indicated.
The debate on research assistants was triggered in Parliament today [Thursday], after some Members of Parliament sought to find out when their recommendations for research assistants will be approved.
MPs angry over selection criteria
A few weeks ago, some legislators had opposed Parliament’s decision to engage first and second class Upper, and masters holders for employment, saying the directive was discriminatory.
Selection of Research Assistants
Vincent Senam Kuagbenu , former NSS Executive Director
In 2009, parliamentarians were similarly given the option of choosing graduates from tertiary institutions to act as research assistants.
The initiative, which began under former President John Evans Atta Mills’ administration was part of his government’s efforts at carrying out its constitutional mandate more effectively.
The Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS) at the time, Vincent Senam Kuagbenu, had said MPs had the right to choose relatives or people from their constituencies, but added that the scheme was yet to take a firm decision on the modalities.