The SRC president of the University of Cape Coast, David Boakye has hinted that plans are underway by various SRC presidents across the country and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) to embark on a nationwide demonstration against government plans to withdraw subsidies for tertiary institutions.
In an interview with Samuel Kojo Brace on ATL FM, Saturday, May, 17, 2014, he said, the nationwide demonstration will be preceded by a press conference which was suppose to come off last week but was postponed owing to the National Economic Forum which was underway and shifted all attention, but assured that the press conference will come off from next week.
Mr. Boakye said that a communique from government to tertiary institutions in Ghana has indicated that government will very soon either fully stops paying subsidies for tertiary students in Ghana or pay 50%. The effect of this directive is that should government stop fully from paying subsidies for students, students offering humanities will pay not less than 3200 cedis for every academic year.
This directive will also mean that tertiary institutions will now device their own means to pay lecturers and other staff and various public universities will run just like private universities.
Mr Boakye also disclosed that another directive from the Ministry of Finance copied to all Vice-Chancellors in public universities in Ghana indicated that government will no longer pay utility bills for tertiary institutions in Ghana and that has resulted in an upsurge in fees to be paid by students in next academic year.
Giving the breakdown, the SRC president said that the utility bills alone amounted to 95.7 billion old cedis which were to be paid by students in UCC alone but his able leadership were able to beat down the amount to 60 billion old cedis. Per these figure students residing in the various halls of residence will pay 450cedis each for utility bills while their counterparts in the diasporas will pay 300 cedis each.
He said that Vice-Chancellors across Ghana have tried in their desperate attempt for government to rescind it decision and continue to pay the utility fees as was the case but that has not yielded fruit.
He warned that rumours have been making rounds that some students are fuming up to defy the status quo and demonstrate against the university for the hike in fees but advised the said students to note that the university’s authorities hands are tied since the increment in the fees is due to government’s refusal to continue to pay for utility bills of tertiary institutions.
He however maintained that he is negotiating an approval from the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor to allow students in UCC to join the nationwide demonstration being planned by SRC’s and NUGS.
Story by: Abdul-Karim Mohammed Awaf(Fayar)