Former Deputy Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the mass deferment of over 6000 KNUST students is draconian.
He said the inability of the students to pay their fees is as a result of the economic crunch the country is facing currently.
Speaking on ‘Good Morning Ghana’ on Metro TV today, he said the allegation that fee-faulting students used their fees to buy cars for uber business, engage in sports betting and bakery services were baseless claims not backed by evidence.
He indicated that the claims made by Dr. Bekoe of the KNUST management that all 6,000 students who have been deferred diverted their fees into businesses cannot be taken seriously when genuinely most students did not have the money to pay.
“Asking 6000 students to go home is too draconian, it’s harsh, it's inconsiderate, it is inhumane. I have listened to Dr. Bekoe very carefully from the KNUST management and he is the one who puts out the claim that the students are using the fees to buy Uber cars, betting, engage in bakeries and what have you.
“Unfortunately for us who want to analyze the situation, we are not provided with any data. Out of the 6000, how many students are engaged in truancy? How many students really did receive fees/ they have the money, but refused to pay their fees because you see if we go with that assumption by the university management, that claim creates the impression that all these students have the wherewithal, all these students did indeed receive their fees but refused to settle their outstanding school fees. I do not buy that, I cannot buy that,” he intimated.
He continued, “We must recognize that the current situation we find ourselves pertaining to the Ghanaian economy is dire. This is a period where there is excruciating hardship that is why the university managers themselves say that the numbers are out of the ordinary, this is a novel situation. That should tell you that what is happening now is as a result of the economic crunch because uber business did not start this year, betting was not introduced last year or this year.”
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on April 21,2022 announced the deferment of some 6,000 students as a result of their inability to pay fees after the university had given prior notice of possible deferment over non-payment of school fees.