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26.05.2007 General News

MPs discuss in-out-out-out policy

By myjoyonline

The acute shortage of accommodation in the country's tertiary institutions, particularly the University of Ghana, engaged the attention of Members of Parliament on Thursday.

For more than two hours various MPs who contributed to a statement made by the MP for Central Tongu, Mr Joe Gidisu, called for pragmatic measures for the provision of enough accommodation for students in tertiary institutions.

Mr Gidisu in his statement said it was a sad commentary that the phenomenal increases in the student population had not informed long-term planning for the development of the University of Ghana.

Despite the consistent growing trend in the student population, there had regrettably not been a corresponding infrastructure development and an increase in government subventions over the years.

He said the in-out-out-out policy to be adopted by the university to offer accommodation to only first year students was not the best and should be reversed.

Mr Gidisu, therefore suggested that capital should be injected into the infrastructure of the campuses of the various tertiary institutions.

He also called for the review of the conditions of the authorities of the various institutions to encourage private investors who were ready and willing to invest in hostels on campuses.

In his contribution, the MP for Amenfi East, Mr Joseph Boahen-Aidoo, said the in-out-out-out policy was not the best for the country's tertiary institutions.

“Mr Speaker, the policy was adopted out of desperation,” he said, and called for provisions to be made to cater for the accommodation needs of the increasing number of students in tertiary institutions.

He advised authorities of tertiary institutions to relax their terms of conditions to attract private investors to invest in hostel facilities on their campuses.

The MP for Ashaiman, Mr Alfred Agbesi, said the situation in the country's universities in particular called for sober reflection in order to come out with a lasting solution.

He advised the police not to resort to the use of brutal force during students' demonstrations since such an action could aggravate the already tense atmosphere in tertiary institutions.

The MP for Kwabre East, Mr Kofi Frimpong, said the government had made strides in its quest to improve upon the provision of accommodation in tertiary institution, saying that it was therefore unfortunate the Minority did not see anything good with such efforts.

He explained that the current state of the universities was due to years of neglect by the previous administration whose members had turned around to accuse the present regime.

The Minister of Education, Science and Sports and MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, gave the assurance that efforts were being made to add about 10,000 beds to the current 8,000 beds within the next three years at the University of Ghana through collaboration with the private sector.

Credit: Daily Graphic