University Students ran to Parliament over high school fees.

Student leaders of the University of Education, Winneba comprising Winneba campus, Kumasi campus, Ajumako campus and Manpong campus through a four member delegation went to the national house of Parliament to petition the house over high school fees in the University of Education Winneba for 2017/2018 academic year. 
The delegation was made up of; Clifford Tuffour (UEW-K), Evans Awuah(SRC Financial Secretary, UEW-K), Romeo Sena Dogbe(Ag SRC Public Relation Officer, UEW-K) and Mr. Henry Nkosua( Former USAG president) were in Parliament on Tuesday 01/08/2017.

Our sources indicate that they had an indoor discussion with the chairman of the parliamentary select committee on education who assured them that the committee will look at their grievances appropriately. 

Newsstandgh cited the petition that was submitted to the house through the committee chairman.

Portion of the petition reads

"We wish to first of all loud parliament for having ordered the University of Ghana and other public institutions through the minister of finance to bring proposed fees for the 2017/2018 academic year for parliamentary scrutiny and approval, pursuant to the fees and charges (Miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793). We have observed that this legal provision has been dormant over the years and applying it appropriately to all public Universities, is a step we students are very happy of, especially at a time when it has become apparent that access to tertiary education is increasingly only available to the privileged. 

Mr. Speaker, bearing in mind that the school fees breakdown was among the many issues that our predecessors fruitlessly grappled with despite exhausting all legitimate means, we are constrained to seek refuge from your office as we are unable to understand the difficulty on the part of management in the issuance of an itemized bill. 

Mr. Speaker, permit us to bring to your notice three inexorable situations that arises when fees are charged on the blind side of the SRC: 

1. the exaggeration of the cost of some items or services 

2. the likelihood of paying for services that are entirely absent and

3. the most serious is, all the aforementioned will unavoidably happen at the blind side of the SRC, which poses a profound threat to transparency and accountability.

Mr. Speaker, on the basis of the above mentioned factors, we humbly request a thorough scrutiny of the proposed fees for the 2017/2018 academic year which is pending the approval of your august house and if possible reject any increment as the previous 2016/2017 academic year fees were exorbitant enough to force dozens of students to defer their programmes and placed several others in financial crises that jeopardized their academic performance.

Mr. Speaker we further pray that you invoke the powers of your office to compel the management of the university to make available to us and future SRCs, the breakdown of student fees for the utmost importance of transparency and accountability.

Mr. Speaker, we strenuously believe that the conduct of the university management is undemocratic and more fundamentally, it is tantamount to a brazen violation of the rights and privileges of the several thousands of students to whom they are mandated to provide service, hence whatever authority that is responsible for this grave inconvenience, in our humble view must be curtailed."

The leadership after its meeting with the committee chairman directed all students in the University through a memo dated 01/08/2017, to halt any payment of fees until the matter is finally resolved.

Speaking to the SRC president, Clifford Tuffour, who is an ardent student activist, He indicated that he is very optimistic that the minister of education through the parliamentary select committee will consider and find a redress of their grievances very soon. 

In the month of July of this year, the students of the University of Ghana also petitioned parliament over similar issues. 

Story by Denis Andaban

Author: Denis Andaban

Denis Andaban is a young writer and practising journalist. He is also a young teacher who has an unrepentant passion for writing. He has written feature articles ranging from politics, social issues, academic and relationship. He also writes news for many online media portals. Currently, He is reading B A English Language Education at the University of Education, Winneba, Kumasi. Denis Andaban is a native of Fian in the Upper West Region

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