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24.11.2004 General News

SSS Fees Increased Again

By Palaver

...Bombshell at Achimota PTA!! ...It's now 213% increase in 4 years!!!

Palaver -- A bombshell was exploded at the Achimota Secondary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting last Sunday, November 21, 2004 when it was announced to stunned and startled parents and teachers that the Kufuor Government had increased the boarding fees paid by second cycle students by 14% with retrospective effect from September 1, 2004.

However like all of President Kufuor's policies, this one was also mired in tricks to try to camouflage the increase and not make it too obvious before the December elections. The strategy for the implementation of the increase was such as to prevent parents from immediately recognising that there had been an increase.

It was explained to the furious but patient parents at the meeting that the new fees were made to reflect only on the bills of the First Year students during the hectic period of admissions last September. Of course with every parent anxious to gain admission for his or her child or ward, which parent was going to be "foolish" enough to quibble over how much he or she was paying?

And so parents unsuspectingly paid the new fees without any complaints as the NPP Government had hoped all along.

The PTA meeting was informed that second and third year students are however to pay the increase with effect from the second term but with retrospective effect from the first term! In other words, second and third year students are to pay the difference for the first term and the new fees for the second term at the beginning of the second term in January 2005!

Thus the Kufuor Government has increased SSS school fees but the fees will be paid in January 2005 after the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in December 2004 but with retrospective effect from September 2004. In other words, come January 2005, unless the NPP loses the elections and a new Government decides to review the SSS fees, parents will be paying for first term arrears of fees which they did not know about, and increased fees for the second term as well!

The secret increase in SSS fees fits very neatly into the NPP Government's "property-owning democracy" concept under which education is a privilege for the rich and not a right for everybody.

It also brings the cumulative increase in SSS boarding fees to 213% on only four years of the Kufuor administration.

The surreptitious manner of the increase also fits into the NPP Government's non-transparent manner of inflicting hardships on the people, such as increasing VAT by 2.5% and calling it a National Health Insurance Levy; reducing the salaries of public and civil servants and blaming it on computer error, and refusing to increase fuel prices until February 2005, that is after the elections, and falsely explaining that the Government has enough resources to cushion any immediate cost increases to TOR.

The Chart below shows the SSS boarding fees increases per term from December 2000 to September 2004:

SSS Fee Increases per Term from December 2000 (NDC) to September 2004 (NPP)

Month Year Fees Payable

December 2000 ¢187,000

September 2001 ¢280,000

September 2002 ¢392,000

September 2003 ¢513,000

September 2004 ¢584,000

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