The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) had a press conference meeting on how some of the public universities in Ghana are charging more than the 15% school fees increment from the government.
DETAILS OF THE MEETING
Ladies and gentleman of the press, I welcome you all on behalf of the 10 million students of this county. We will deliver the message on behalf of our colleagues receiving education in various public tertiary institutions who are faced with the harsh realities of an insensitive system.
What we have on our hands is a decision by some leaders of institutions to blatantly disregard our laws and the parliament of Ghana.
Colleagues, our advocacy against the increment in fees started on 3rd November where we visit the president of the republic. From that time till date at all levels we have pursued dialogue and consistent appeals to authorities, with the hope that stakeholders will be sensitive to the conditions of students in these economic challenges of our country
Beyond the meeting with the president, we wrote a follow up memo through the minister for education to the president on the 23rd November,2022. To further our advocacy, we went on to write to the parliamentary selected committee on Education on the 1st December,2022. These are but a few of the engagement both in meeting and letters by both NUGS and our blocs to ensure pleas are heard.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on the 16th December, 2022 we sighted the letter from the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission indicating parliament approval for maximum threshold of 15% for Academic Facilities user fees and the residential facility user fees. For the avoidance of doubt the provision of fees and charges (miscellaneous provisions) act, 2022 (Act 1080) meant that institutions cannot increase fees more than 15% of the 2021/2022 fees in charging the 2022/2023 fees.
Regardless of this provision by parliament, it was clear that some management of various institutions were still charging beyond the approved threshold. We went on to meet the leadership of GTEC on 20th of December, 2022, with GTEC writing again to the institutions on 22nd December, 2022 reminding them of the need to comply with the parliamentary provision. We also issue a statement calling for compliance to the parliamentary provision on the 23rd December, 2022.
Univeristy Of Ghana School Fees And Other Cost Increment
The university of Ghana has increase AFUF in some departments, well over 40%, to make matters worse, they have increase RFUF over 70% and in some situations 100%, I am referring to the professor Nana Aba AMFO university of Ghana, leading the charge of illegalities.
KNUST School Fees And Other Cost Increment
As we speak KNUST is doing same with over 30% increment in AFUF and 100% increment in RFUF.
UCC School Fees And Other Cost Increment
UGCC is also deeply involved with some increment crossing 25%, UGCC faculty of social science has increased fees at a 27% rate
UMAT is doing same with some increment going as high as 40%
University of Education, WINNEBA is charging first year student fees with an increment up to 40%, while we await their release of fees for continuing students, it’s unfortunate to note that, graduate fees in some instances goes up to 40%.
AAMUSTED under the guise of provisional fees, has release fees to 21%, we will not wait for them to start collecting it from students like LEGON and others are doing.
University of Energy and Natural Resources, is also involved in this illegalities with fees in some instance going up to 30%, I mean 30%.
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
whilst analysing the date and figures from the schools, we observed something worrying in our college of Education. While generally, official fees conform to the 15% threshold, college management go on to charge ‘’ extra charges ‘’. It is worrying snice all of them are collected by the institutions and are compulsory. They are schools fees in make-up, no different from the illegalities of KNUST and others.
OUR REGUEST FROM NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS
- ENFORCEMENT OF THE 15% THRESHOLD SET BY PARLIAMENT.
It is important that institutions and structures provided by the state ensure compliance by schools. It is also important that the monitoring and enforcement duties of state is exercised by the authorities mandated to do so; it is only by this that we can ensure the welfare and protection of the vulnerable in society. We call on your office to protect the vulnerable and reverse all illegal fees being charged by very institutions.
PROVISION OF FUNDING FOR THE STUDENT LOAN TRUST FUND.
The launch of the NO GUARANTOR POLICY and the current economic conditions coupled with a 15th raise in school fees will trigger an overwhelming increase in applications and dependence on the loan scheme to ensure student stay in school. But unfortunately if the current state of the student loan scheme is to be relied on then we may have a problem om our hands since, the scheme has huge arrears from last academic year to clear. All this, is as a result of lack of funds. It is important that as soon as possible, funds are made available to the student loan trust fund to ensure it is able to provide the safety net that it is mandated to offer tertiary education.
IMMEDIATE UNCAPPING OF GET – FUND
An immediate uncapping of GET FUN is key in making funds available to run the educational sector, key in this is provision of enough funds to the student loan trust fun.
Dear Ghana, we are in an era of rule of law and one key pillar of rule of law, is the respect for institutions, we believe we all share the responsibility of protecting the sanctity of our institutions.
In conclusion, I draw your attention to the fact that our educational fortunes is closely tied to our progress as a country .
The National union of Ghana student is committed to using every reasonable means to ensure such illegalities are not perpetrated against the student of Ghana.
While we may not necessarily state our next line of action, we want to assure all student and the entire country especially for the numerous parent and guardians who call us every day, we continue to persist in the face of an insensitive system until justice is done.
We call on all we-meaning Ghanaians, civil society, the clergy, traditional leaders and everyone who loves the education of this county, to speak up.
It cannot be, that the concerns of student are only taken serious only when they riot, that is wrong!
Colleagues, the current state of the student loan trust fund cannot sustain student especially in these economic conditions.
It is even more sad to note that while there are arrears and fees have been increase the 2023 budget reduces the allocation to the student loan scheme.
If we truly want to grow the tertiary education on this country then we need to question why student loan for second semester has not been paid, and we do not know when it will be paid! How do student pay for such increment in fees in the absence of no funding for the loans that we depend on?