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26.07.2004 General News

Legon Students to demonstrate on next Monday

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Accra, July 26, GNA - Students of the University of Ghana, Legon, on Monday said that they would embark on a public demonstration against the "entrenched position taken by the university authorities during negotiations on the new fee schedule".

A statement signed by Ms Josephine Adowa Ahsia, Acting SRC President, said the Student Representative Council (SRC) and the students at a forum passed the resolution to take to the streets on Monday, August 2.

It said the demonstration would begin at 0800 hours on the University Campus at Legon and end at the Castle, Osu; Accra - a distance of about 12 kilometres - where the SRC Leadership would present a resolution to President John Agyekum Kufuor.

The statement appealed, "to students and parents to either hold on payments for now or pay amounts not exceeding that paid last academic year".

Last academic year, continuing undergraduates paid between 1,215,000 cedis and 1,715,000 cedis as against the proposed new fee, which is between 2,410,000 cedis and 3,070, 000 cedis.

Undergraduate freshmen and women, last year paid between 1,365,000 cedis and 1,545,000 cedis as against what they are expected to pay this year which is between 2,590,000 cedis and 2,870,000 cedis On Thursday July 15, this year, Mr Teddy Konu, Registrar, University of Ghana, Legon, described as "a lie" the assertion of the Students Representative Council (SRC) that it was not consulted on the 2004/2005 academic fees.

"If the SRC says it was not consulted in arriving at the 2004 / 2005 academic year fees, it is a lie because they have a representative on the University Council that sat to approve the fees," Mr Konu told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.

On whether the fees were affordable, the Registrar said the majority of the students could afford to pay and advised the SRC to marshal its efforts into assisting the minority of students, who could not afford to pay.

He said the SRC should refrain from giving a condition that until their inputs were factored into the final decision they would reject any increase in the fees.

Mr Konu said if students managed to survive under the high fees they paid at the senior secondary schools, then everything suggested that they could pay for their university education, which was still more affordable in terms of the real cost of tertiary education elsewhere. "They say they want quality education, so they should be prepared to pay for the full cost of their education," he said.

Explaining the rationale for the increase, Mr Konu said the University had introduced a technology service fee making computer literacy a requirement for every student.

He said as part of making fees affordable to the underprivileged, the University would this year admit 300 students free of charge. Last week the University Council released this year's academic fees as follows: Fresh students of the Humanities and the Sciences would pay 1,070,000 cedis and 1,350,000 cedis, respectively.

For continuing students in the Humanities and Sciences, the fees would be 990,000 cedis and 1,270,000 cedis respectively while Applied Sciences students would pay 1,650,000 cedis.

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