A former Minister of Education under the John Mahama regime is pushing for the suspension of payment of fees for fresh and continuing students in tertiary institutions across Ghana as the 2021 academic year begins.
Mr Mahama Ayariga, who is MP for Bawku Central has since petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to have the fees halted due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In the petition, the legislator who cited job losses and economic instability brought on by the virus was also unhappy over the decision by tertiary institutions to charge fees from both fresh and continuing students before they are allowed access to teaching and learning facilities in schools.
“This is important to the public because many people have lost their jobs due to the economic consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19, which has necessitated government granting subsidies in the provision of water and electricity. The hospitality sector has been hard hit. Workers of private schools in the education sector have not earned income in close to a year. Border towns like Bawku have suffered economically from the restrictions in cross-border movement and trading. Most parents and students have not been able to work to save funds to be able to pay fees. Remittances from abroad have drastically shrunk. The banking crisis caused many jobs to be lost”, portions of the petition read.
Advancing his argument, the lawmaker said essential components of the public tertiary institutions can function without many of the fees requested from students in L.I. 2386.
He proposed that student bursaries will only kick in to support students only after they have been able to pay admission fees and entered the universities.
Mahama Ayariga is therefore requesting that the Speaker grants the motion to have the payment of fees put on hold to ease the financial obligations of parents adding that “Order 50 (3) – The application of the fees (Miscellaneous Provisions) Instrument, 2019 (LI 2386), being a financial legislation, can only be suspended by an amendment introduced on behalf of the President.”
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from CNR