Opinions Wed, 16 Nov 2005

RE: MPs Descend On Varsity Dons, Apostles

I read with some surprise the story on the above subject in which the MP for Jomoro, Mr Lee Ocran. According to peace FM, he said ?the time had come for university dons to change their way of doing things and behave like Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo and to desist from always wearing gowns to pride themselves over their academic achievements. The Jomoro MP lamented that it was very pathetic to learn that Ghana imports bolts and nuts from overseas, things he said could easily have been manufactured in the country?

These are the kind of minds that are supposed to plan the nation?s development? I would like to pose a few questions.

Where did Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, Founder of Christ Reformed Church, get the funds to do what he has done? My bet is that it was the church collection which is no small sum.

How much as an MP has Mr. Ocran argued to be voted for research and emoluments, in our universities?

How much does the government pay lecturers for them to devote their time to research? Promotion in the university is based on research and publication and not the number of students taught. Yet class sizes sometimes do go up to a thousand students. What time is left for the lecturer to do research? The average age of our lecturers is above fifty years, and new, young brains cant be attracted to the universities to teach like the kind of competition that goes into primaries for MP?s and the reason is obvious. It easier to be promoted by research, but research does not come cheap, research budgets for one university does not come to more than seventy million cedis a year. How much does a ream of paper cost?, travelling and hiring of research assistants does not come cheap and given the level of poverty that MP?s have been able to do nothing about, even respondents to research want to be paid for answering questions. Like they say there is no free lunch.

Mp?s are given $20,000.00 as car loans and some don?t pay and get it written off. After four years they are given $25,000.00 as car loans. Who else, working for the state enjoys such conditions of service? Lecturers have been given car loans of up to $10,000.00 to buy specific cars determined by government and manufactured in Brazil, when the MP?s can buy what they like or build houses with theirs. Who in Ghana in four years enjoys 25% increase in salaries yet alone benefits ($20,000.00 to $25.000.00).

How many MP,s have used their monies to buy the car ?manufactured? by the Apostle?

How many times have MP?s approached the universities to help them solve problems instead of going for foreign consultants, and when they do approach our universities, how much are they willing to pay in comparison to foreign ?consultants?, who sometimes know next to nothing and turn round to high local expertise?

Mr. MP you can not reap where you have not sown. If you want the university dons to be relevant to the economic and technological situation of the country, show them you care and make it worth their while. Get of your high horse and use your $20,000.00 and MP?s common fund to produce something like the Appostle has done.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Mensah, John