USAG Meets with the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Hon. Professor Kwasi Yankah.
Tuesday, November 26 2019 saw the Leadership of University Students Association of Ghana, USAG engaged the Minister.
Mr. Paul Abrokwa, the President led the delegation. Matters discussed included the current state of the Student Trust Fund Loan (STFL) and its wedlock with payment issues which affects students making then unable to participate in examinations and the way forward on that, the president proposed that, the minister engage Vice Chancellor Ghana to allow students to participate in all institutional activities including exams without being expel. Other issues raised concerning the STFL was also the high interest rate attached.
Prof. Yankah responded by putting it out that Yes, the payment delays but he agrees to the proposal made by USAG which suggested that there should be a form of communication from the STFL to the various Vice Chancellors of the Universities to assure them that these monies will be disbursed to them hence allow the students continue in their pursuance for academic Excellence.
Notwithstanding, with the private Universities, the proposal was to have a dialogue with them and with the assurance that the students will fulfil their financial obligation of which the university can withhold their Certificate till this payment is completed by STFL and not to ban them from partaking in examinations.
Hon. Minister spoke about the new Tertiary Education policy.
Mr. Paul Abrokwa also put forth the challenges student leaders face across the nation with specific regards to their “autonomy” and bottleneck procument structures which tend to be more expensive than estimated amounts out there, this being the main reason why most student leaders are not able to undertake projects on campuses.
This particular submission brought out some ripple effects as all the delegation from USAG shared experience of this canker in many shades.
It brought about the perspective that the University managements don’t accord the student leadership enough respect and that their presence on boards and councils are just for representations and not for them to make contributions which might be taken into consideration.
Hon. Prof. Yankah responded that the “autonomy” of student groups in the university is important but must be regulated and he narrated some stories of how unregulated autonomy of student union cost some universities.
Issues of school fees also poped up referring specifically with the ongoing 5% increment charged UEW students on the fees slated for this academic year. USAG asked of the Minister to intervene and that this amount added shouldn’t be a yardstick for the university to deny the students from partaking in the examinations because they have not completed payment.
Finally, Mr. Paul Abrokwa showed his appreciation to the Hon. Minister on behalf of the association for accepting to meet the union and proposed that the minister give him time to mobilize all the SRC presidents of the various universities in order to listen to them and have first hand information on issues affecting student of which the honorable minister agreed and asked the President to make the necessary arrangements for such meeting.
This meeting is to enable students leaders to have a round table discussion with the minister on issues of concern in regard to their various institutions.
Remember, Paul Abrokwa led administration would always focus on Ghanian student.