Secretary of the University of Ghana Chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo has stated that adhering to the Minister of Education’s directive to increase School fees by 15% would be illegal.
The Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, ordered the University of Ghana (UG) Management to abide by the 15 percent increase in tertiary fees approved by parliament.
This directive was made after the Ministry of Education met leaders of all public universities on the tertiary fees controversy on Thursday.
Speaking to Univers News, Prof. Gyampo explained that the Parliament’s directive to increase the charged fees by 15% was based on the approved fees the government had already given in 2019.
Prof. Gyampo said that the University management simply adhered to the directive, as they had calculated the increase on the previous fees approved by the government, and hence going against that directive would be illegal.
Are you not going to use what the government approved and then calculate your 15% on it? That is exactly what the University of Ghana has done. And so telling us to do anything that is contrary to what the government has approved and directed us to be doing will be illegal and so we want to stay on the side of the law….If that becomes the case, then they’ll be asking us to do what is illegal.
He also said fees were not officially implemented due to late delivery of directives and the inevitable COVID pandemic that led the University Management to respond to the situation in favor of the students.
We received the government gazetted and approved fees for us to be charged in 2019. Now, in 2019, we got these approved fees received very late. They were in around the end of that academic year 2019-2020 academic year. And we felt it wasn’t going to be prudent for us to ask students to add more to the fees….we never asked students to top up. Now in 2020, we wanted to go back to the government-approved fees. It was there that student leaders came to appeal to us that the whole country had been plagued with COVID and that they were pleading with management to reconsider that decision. And so management yielded to the plea of the students. Now [last] year December, till the end of December, we’ve received a directive that we should charge 15% on what are the fees that government had already approved.
Meanwhile, the President of the University of students association of Ghana, Christian Anderson speaking to Univers news on the matter said the Ministry of education should direct universities to refund the balance of the fees to students who paid more than the parliament-approved fees.
For those who have made payment already, there should be directives on how refunds can be made for them to get back the money they have spent in a wrongful manner because the government that is the body for making these laws has stated it is 15 and that should be adhered to.
Story by Deborah Yakohene | Univers.ug.edu.gh