Heads of private Universities across the country have called on the government to reduce the huge corporate tax it has slapped on them.
Addressing the Conference of Heads of Private Universities, Ghana (CHPUG), in Koforidua last week, the Chairman for the association, Dr. Samuel H. Donkor stated that it would be paramount for the government to lessen corporate tax on private Universities since higher education has become an extremely important element in the organization of modern society.
The conference was under the theme “Private University Education-Complementing Government's Effort in Education”, and was attended by all heads of the 24 private Universities in the country.
The association, which comprised of Rectors, Presidents, Vice Chancellors and Principals of accredited private Universities, was formed in November 25, 2004, to promote issues relating to private higher education delivery in the country, foster world-class standards within the tertiary education sector and meet demands of the country's development.
According to the President, government's inability to support the development of private Universities in respect to infrastructure development, acquisition of laboratory equipment and faculty development, in a bid to maximize quality of private Universities have posed a major headache to heads of the institutions.
He explained that, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) strategy document, 'investing in private education in developing countries' -identifies a number of benefits to be derived.
He mentioned the expansion of pre-tertiary education, following the introduction of the education reform in 1987, as some benefits the country would derive for the support of private Institutions among others.
Dr. Donkor stated that private provision of higher education in Ghana in accordance with expectation of IFC has accelerated the pace of national development. According to him, there were over 30,000 students studying as well as 150 jobs created by the various private Universities in the country to support and expand the economy of the country.
On his part the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo said the annual conferences were occasions when communities and the association's members came together to reflect on activities and design strategies to overcome the challenges encountered, in order to improve on performances in the ensuing year.
According to him, quality education was the best legacy one could bequeath to his or her children who were the future leaders of this nation, adding that it was only quality education that children could become useful citizens.
Touching on the theme, Hon Ofosu-Ampofo indicated that it was not only most appropriate but also extremely relevant as the few public institutions available could not completely absorb the increasing number of applicants in the country.
The Minister further urged heads of private institutions to add waste management engineering to their curriculum in order to produce graduates with the needed technical know-how to tackle issues of waste management in the country.