Dear President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo,
I write with a deep heart to express my greatest concern for the future of quality academic education on the campus of our tertiary institutions particularly the University of Ghana.
I must however commend your government's shown commitment to bringing education to the least privileged in the Republic. Especially at the Secondary Education level. The comprehensive free SHS policy is one true and relevant policy that had long eluded us as a people. Your quest to ensure that all Ghanaians irrespective of their social, economic or political background have acquired the fundamental levels of education that can land them in meaningful avenues of employment is commendable to me as a student and a youth. I believe it is a quality we must all seek to emulate as a people.
Mr. President, this tremendous achievement in the field of education faces a serious demerit as it begins to record it's first freshmen in the tertiary institutions across the country in the coming academic year.
We can attest to the fact that the numbers as we will have come out of the secondary schools this year will be much higher than has ever been in the history of this country.
As that remains a good attribute, it also presents a considerable difficulty in the delivery of quality education in the tertiary education level.
The influx of the students come next semester places a huge pressure on the already insufficient infrastructure on the various campuses.
As much as it is needful to provide education to all, it is important to ensure that students have the opportunity to pursue higher education and that those that are able to access higher education are not limited by circumstances faced by the schools, problems that should have been solved years preceeding their arrival.
It is trite knowledge that the existing academic facilities in most of our state-owned higher educational institutions are not able to adequately cater for the needs of the tens of thousands of students who have registered and paid to use them.
These facilities range from lecture theatres, scientific laboratories, ICT laboratories, libraries, sports facilities, among many others.
More worrying is the decades-long problem of accommodation that inhibits the ability of students to stay on campus or even close to campus in order to facilitate efficient academic work.
Mr. President, these are the two main challenges that I believe your government and other governments before you have turned a blind eye to.
For several years now, we have had to reopen schools in August on the back of debate and protest around the issue of accommodation. Several media outlets get more involved when the freshmen are coming in mostly within the month of September and October.
These are real issues Mr. President. Real issues that need real solutions. These are issues that we have battled with for years and issues that I believe your esteemed office can do some work on to offload the challenge on the various institutions' management.
I must commend my school, the University of Ghana for their efforts in salvaging the situation. Particular mention must be made of the Alumni Relations Office for the efforts in contributing to solving the problem.
Currently, we have the Mensah Sarbah Hall Alumni working on a residential block on campus.
In the early stages of the 2019/2020 academic year, the Commonwealth Hall Alumni also made projections in respect of the construction of an Annex for the all-male hall.
These are efforts that need commendation. But Mr. President, these are also actions that must inspire your government and other governments to also come in to help.
Currently, we have not heard any communication in relation to infrastructure in the various tertiary institutions from the time you took office to date. We are still battling with the little paces that existed from years ago since we came to be students which coincidentally was the beginning of your administration.
I am reaching out to remind you that the education of your commitment in ensuring that the education of the people must not come at a cost to their ability to fully grasp all that it presents.
I am therefore suggesting these options to you for consideration especially as your party, the New Patriotic Party-NPP readies to work on its manifesto for the 2020 General Elections.
I suggest for your attention the formation of the Tertiary Education Infrastructure Committee. Their role shall be to;
1. Deliver a comprehensive review of all uncompleted facilities on the various tertiary educational facilities.
2. Advice on the provision of critical infrastructure faculties in the various tertiary institutions.
3. Supervise the completion of all government infrastructural projects in the tertiary institutions that are at various stages of completion.
4. Engage a periodic review of projects on campuses to ensure proper maintenance culture among the institutions.
Mr. President, we as a people cannot continue to substitute the quality in our education delivery system for the number of individuals able to access it. I believe the two must work together if we want to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.
I also call on all other appointees under your administration with fancy job titles particularly in relation to education to quickly initiate steps to ensure that your aim of accessible quality education to all is achieved.
Your Citizen not Spectator,
University of Ghana