THE MAJORITY LEADER,
UNIVERSITY OF GHANA PARLIAMENT HOUSE,
UNIVERSITY OF GHANA,
LEGON - ACCRA.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SPEAKER,
PARLIAMENT OF GHANA,
ACCRA - GHANA.
8th December, 2022
A PETITION FOR PARLIAMENT OF GHANA TO INTERVENE IN A PROPOSED 50% INCREMENT IN ACADEMIC AND RESIDENTIAL FEES IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN GHANA FOR THE 2022/2023 ACADEMIC YEAR.
Right Honourable, your outfit has received public praise for your resilient and unflinching stands to ensure the very right things are done and the interest of Ghana is upheld with high esteem at all times. Parliament of Ghana has received a facelift through your very firm and service centered leadership from the time of your election to date. The leadership of Parliament is commended for fighting for many interests of Ghanaians, the very people Parliamentarians represent.
Right Honourable, on 27th May, 2022, Professor Gordon A. Awandare, Pro Vice - Chancellor, ASA of the University of Ghana granted an interview about fee increment to Radio Univers 105.7 FM, the official radio station of the University of Ghana. In his interview, he stated that, "Ghana Tertiary Education Commission has asked for Universities to bring proposals for fee increases to consider. We are going to be engaging the student front as well. But I think, everybody knows that this has to happen. This is inevitable. Even the students know for this one, there is no need to do Aluta because it just makes sense. We haven't settled on that [the percentage] yet. We are still looking at the numbers and engaging GTEC. Students should plan for like 50% increase so if it's less, you are not surprised. All of you should go home and tell your parents that there will be something like a 50% increase in your fees, so they should start saving. We don't want anybody to come back and say that, I can't pay, I want an extension. You have been forewarned six (6) months in advance." These were the published words of Professor Gordon A. Awandare when he was asked about fee increment in the 2022/2023 academic year.
Right Honourable, these are the reasons for my petition against the planned 50% increment in academic and residential fees for the 2022/2023 academic year in public universities in Ghana:
- The timing for the proposed 50% increment of academic and residential fees is wrong and not favorable for students, parents and guardians. The economic crisis of Ghana had had negative impacts on the businesses and financial incomes of parents and guardians of students in public universities.
- The 40.4% inflation rate for October 2022 has contributed negatively to the standard of living of families whose wages are not meaningful. An increment in academic and residential fees by 50% will mean that these families will have to crack the nuts to be able to fend for the academic needs of their wards in public universities in Ghana.
- When the proposed 50% increment in academic and residential fees is finally implemented by public universities in Ghana, it will negatively affect students and their parents or guardians as they will be faced with the pressure of having to look for money which no one knows where they will get same from. Even if they get the money through loan, they would have to pay with high interests due to cedi to dollar ratio and high inflation.
- Students whose parents and guardians are unable to make up for the proposed 50% increment will be faced with the realities of not being able to continue with their academic pursuits especially in a time where Ghana as a country needs to produce brains (young people) who will contribute to the developmental agenda to achieve the Ghana we all dream of. This will affect the development of the human resources and capacities of Ghana.
- Students whose parents and guardians are unable to make up for the proposed 50% increment would have to defer their programmes to later year or years. This will have a negative impact on the mental health of such students causing many to become very frustrated and depressed which is a higher propensity of suicides. Also, students who fund their education will largely be affected by the proposed 50% increment in academic and residential fees in the sense that, they will be forced to dropout of school or even defer their programmes of study as they may not be able to make up for the increment for the academic year.
- The decline in the purchasing power of the cedi (cedi depreciation) and the impact of COVID-19 had had a negative effect on the businesses of parents and guardians of students, many of whom are traders in our Ghanaian markets. Most parents and guardians who are traders have not been able to come out of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 on their businesses and the cedi depreciation which we are still experiencing as a country.
- The interview granted by Professor Gordon A. Awandare to a larger extent points to an inevitable increment in academic and residential fees, which I believe will not mean well for parents, guardians and students who the increment will directly affect.
- Single parents will be at the bad end of the proposed 50% increment in academic and residential fees for the 2022/2023 academic year. As stated earlier there is already a low standard of living in Ghana currently because of the high inflation rates we have recorded this year, single parents whose means of survival and funding of the education of their children in public universities have been affected by the inflation rate and the economic crisis will really be in difficult and unbearable situation.
Right Honourable, by this petition, I humbly pray you and the leadership of Parliament the following:
- That the Parliament of Ghana through the Parliamentary Committee on Education holds a meeting with the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission over the possible increment of fees in the 2022/2023 academic year in order to reach a consensus that will prevent any action by managements of public universities in Ghana that will exacerbate the current hardships of Ghanaian citizens who their children or relatives in public tertiary institutions.
- That the Parliament of Ghana swiftly act to prevent the proposed 50% increment in academic and residential fees for the 2022/2023 academic year. If possible, increment in academic and residential fees should be put on hold for the 2022/2023 academic year.
- That the Parliament of Ghana will in the shortest time through the Parliamentary Committee on Education order the managements of Public Universities in Ghana to consider the economic crisis and inflation rate in their financial decisions to students for the 2022/2023 academic year.
- That even if there is still the need for an increment in academic and residential fees for the 2022/2023 academic year, it should not be anything more than a 10% to 15%.
Right Honourable, as the 2022/2023 academic year starts soon, I humbly pray you and the leadership of both caucuses of Parliament that there will be a hastened process to address the concerns raised in this petition in order for it to achieve the desired results for students interests. I trust your leadership to lead a cause for students in public universities in Ghana in this time where Ghana is faced with an economic crisis that has affected every aspect of our lives as Ghanaians. Thank you.
Cc: Majority Leader of Parliament of Ghana.
Minority Leader of Parliament of Ghana.
Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Education.
The Public Affairs Directorate, Parliament of Ghana.
All Media Houses in Ghana.
JUSTICE YAO ALOR.
PETITIONER AND MAJORITY LEADER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA PARLIAMENT HOUSE (UGPH).
Phone call: 0248956726/0509375427
Email address: [email protected]