The boss of the National Service Secretariat has come under fire for suggesting University teachers are undeserving of their book allowance.
Vincent Kuagbenu at the annual award ceremony for National Service personnel in the Ashanti Region, scoffed at the demands by University teachers for government to pay their arrears on book allowance.
The University Teachers Association Ghana (UTAG) is threatening a strike if government fails to pay the arrears. But the NSS boss believes the university teachers have done very little or nothing to deserve a book allowance.
All they do, according to Kuagbenu, is to recycle notes year after year, and the results are the half-baked students churned out from the various universities with no employable skills and knowledge for corporate Ghana.
�I listened to the radio yesterday; they (lecturers) are saying that they are threatening strike because government has not paid them book allowance. How many books did they buy?� he quizzed, adding, �You are students who spent years in the university. Most of the lecturers recycle lecture notes every time, and they are producing people who cannot fit the labour market demands,� Kuagbenu said in a report filed by Luv FM.
The NSS boss said the unprecedented formation of the Association of Unemployed Graduates is testament to the failure by the university teachers.
Instead of fighting for book allowance, Kuagbenu insists the lecturers must be introspective and find ingenious ways of making graduates employable. �If people finish the university and they don�t get jobs you don�t ask for book allowance you ask yourself what is making our products not marketable. We must be serious in Ghana,� he charged.
Vincent Kuagbenu did not also take kindly to the demonstration by tertiary students who are calling for a reduction in their school fees.
Describing the demonstration as a piece of �nonsense,� the NSS boss asked the students in the public institutions to find out how much their colleagues in the private institutions in the country are paying and be advised accordingly.
His comments have angered both University students and their lecturers.The president of UTAG in the Ashanti Region Dr Oheneba Yankyira said the remarks by the NSS boss are unfortunate and misplaced.
He argued, he, Kuagbenu was taught by university lecturers in Ghana and if he considers himself efficient as the NSS boss, on what basis is he questioning the competence of those lecturers. His remarks, Dr Yankyira stated, can only be an insult to the lecturers who taught him. He further argued the issue of graduate unemployment cannot not necessarily be blamed on lecturers.
He believes the issue is more to do with non-existent jobs than lack of skills by graduates. He said the duty of the lecturers is to provide knowledge to the students which will guide them in their job search- that they have done to the best of their ability- he noted.
Dr, Yankyira stated the arguments by Kuagbenu have no basis and at best a cheap political jibe to satisfy his employers. A member of NUGS in the Ashanti Region, Emmanuel Addo told Joy News the statements by Vincent Kuagbenu are �careless� and must not be taken seriously.
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