African Education Watch, an education policy research and advocacy organization, has backed calls by students for a reduction in the academic fees billed students for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Research Fellow with the organization, Divine Kpe, believes that the calls must be heeded to by the government as the students have a strong basis for their plea.
Speaking to UniversNews, Divine Kpe agreed that the outbreak of the coronavirus disease has caused a financial strain on parents and students, thus, the need for the management of the various tertiary institutions to reconsider the upward adjustment of fees.
“Issues of school fees must be well talked about because it has implications. Looking at the effects Covid has brought on businesses some students will generally find it difficult to pay their school fees on time or may not even be able to pay at all. So there has to be a point that the government will have to look at how best students can be cushioned in order for them to be able to settle their fees”, he said..
Mr. Kpe was, however, quick to add that arrangements should be made for students to have a much longer period to settle their financial obligation to their various schools.
“In case the government does not reduce it, they should intervene so that the school fees can be spread in a reasonable period so that the students will be able to pay. Otherwise, it will have implications on some of the students that are in school, because they may not be allowed to write their exams”.
He added that if their call does not generate the needed attention they will adopt other measures to have the grievances addressed.
According to the Fees and Charges Act 983, any proposal to increase fees will first have to be approved by parliament. As it stands, it is unclear if the observed increment has been given the go-ahead by parliament.
Prior to this, tuition fees were increased for the 2019/2020 academic year by 5 percent. This was later assented to by parliament.
University of Ghana is one of the few schools to have increased fees for the next academic year.
Ghana Institute of Journalism, earlier this month increased fees by 5 percent for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Meanwhile, the University for Development Studies has reduced academic fees by 16%
Story by: Josephine Azumah | universnewsroom.com