I have painstakingly read the two manifestos by the two major political parties presented to the good people of Ghana ahead of the 2020 elections.
As a student leader and an award-winning youth activist in areas of education and student governance, I must admit that each of the two political parties tried as much as possible to solve the basic problems that confront university students in their respective manifestos.
However, the NDC manifesto and the promise of 50% school fees subsidy is a striking arrow that must be welcomed by all well meaning students and student leaders.
Admittedly, from 2016/17 to 2018/19 academic years school fees has not been increased. However in the 2019/2020 academic year, Vice Chancellors Ghana with cabinet's approval increased every component of school fees by 5%. In my school, University of Education Winneba, Kumasi, the SRC went through a hard tussle to get that increment reversed by Management even though we were unsuccessful.
When cabinet finally approved the 5% increment, the government lost the fight to keep school fees down hence the tendency that school fees would be increased arbitrary in the coming academic years is very high.
Therefore any alternative that seeks to reduce school fees by 50%, calls for jubilant moments and support.
As an outgoing SRC President, I am happy to know that my successors would not have to grapple with the incessant pressure from students towards seeking reliefs from the SRC to pay their school fees.
Cutting to the chase, the problem with tertiary education funding in light of the Students Loan Trust Fund( SLTF) has not been about guarantorship but the non payments of the Loan by government to beneficiaries hence the solution must be geared towards prompt payment. The issue of making the removal of guarantorahip the focal point is a far cry from reality.
I have critically identified with the 50% school fees reduction, however I must admit that tertiary education goes beyond the bachelor degree. I am therefore glad that masters and PhD school fees would also see 50% cut.
I wish all student well and as I always say, I love you all.
Boateng Samuel Clinton
SRC President, UEW,Kumasi
SRC President, Rite Media College
Financial Secretary, TTAG
SRC Financial Secretary, Wesley College