COVID-19: Reduce varsity fees-Group
A group calling itself Coalition of University Students for Fee Reduction (CUSFRED) has petitioned the government through the Minister in charge of Tertiary to reduce fees following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Whiles, commending the government for the initiatives rolled out in ringing relief to Ghanaians, the group said it would be proper for the government to reduce fees.
“We appreciate the great work of His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo during these tough times for the good people of Ghana. We are indeed grateful.
Prominent amongst these great works is the absorption of utility bills for over 50% Ghanaians, provision of personal protective equipment, funding to rescue small scale enterprises, and most recent one absorbing the 2020 WASSCE registration fees for all candidates.
However, we as University students feel we have been left out by the government. We propose the reduction of fees for the 2020/2021 academic year due to the underlisted reasons;
a. As at 31st, May, 2020, 23,000 people working at accommodation facilities lost their jobs. Job loss means no salary for these laid off workers.
b. 856 job losses between have been recorded from 32 Montessori, day care and primary schools between April and June 2020 for private sector educational institutions in Accra and Kumasi.
c. 1, 531 jobs have been lost between April to June 2020 within the ceramics, Timber, Food and Argo-processing industries in the manufacturing sub-sector.
d. Despite the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions on commuter buses, Trotro, and
Taxi’s, people working with these vehicles have had to endure 70- 50% loading capacity for the past five months. The reduction in sales for the past five months has affected the finances of these drivers.
e. Tight restriction on borders by countries has disrupted the global supply chain. People engaging in trading activities risk becoming redundant when their goods run out.
Majority of the people who have been affected by COVID-19 are parents, some with their wards in the University. Loss of job would affect their ability to pay their children fees for the ensuing academic year. Some parents are also involved in the informal, which has not been spared the wrath of COVID-19, their finances are sure to take dip, which affect their ability to take care of their wards in the University.
Parents have other things to take care of when school resumes, apart from school fees, they also pay accommodation, and feed their wards.
We propose the following as ways which the government can reduce school fees for the
2020/2021 academic year;
a. Ghana has an estimated student University population of 500,000. Every student pays an average fee of GH₵2000.00 every academic year. We propose government absorbs 30% of the school fees for the 2020/2021 academic year. This means government will absorb GH₵600.00 of the fees of 500,000 students. This is about 30% of the Corona virus Alleviation fund.
b. Introduction of a school fee paying quota system, which would allow student pay their fees in bits over the course of the academic year. This would take the burden of having to pay all the school fees at once off our parent. Student who pay part of their fees should be allowed to access services that paying full fees would have guaranteed them.
c. Government should absorb certain charges in our school fees in order to reduce the fee. Examination, sanitation, medical examination, physical development levy just to name a few are examples of bills government can absorb from our school fees to help reduce it.
We believe the government of Ghana is putting in the requisite efforts to ensure Ghanaians are shielded from the harsh economic burden brought about by COVID-19, and ensure we are all safe.
We believe government reducing fees for the 2020/2021 academic year will do a great deal of off-setting the already heavy burden on our parents, and also ensure Ghanaian youth will have access to education without finance becoming an obstacle.”
Read the full statement below