Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central has filed a motion for the fees in public tertiary institutions to be subsidized by the government. His reason for this stems from the fact that COVID-19 has negatively affected the economy, hence making the payment of fees a daunting task for parents. However, Professor Kwesi Yankah, a former Minister of Education begs to differ.
Speaking in an interview with Citi FM, he stated, “It is tricky to oppose the bill and not to be perceived as being anti-student or the perception that if your government does not support this bill then they are against the student body, but it is far from that. People should ask our friend, Mahama Ayariga, why at this time when students have already started paying fees and I haven’t overheard many of them [students] complaining. I’m not saying that it’s cheap or that it is affordable, but it hasn’t been a major complaint that students had.”
“There was a residue that is still unpaid from last year that we were working on, but nobody had made this a special topic because they knew that there has been a Fees and Charges Act which requires that before universities increase their tuition fees they should seek permission from Parliament so that was a control mechanism to ensure that fees were not overly above board. Secondly, there have been schools that arbitrarily ignored the Fees and Charges Act and keep adding on to the fees. All that we need to do is to draw their attention to the fact that they need to be compliant, you cannot increase fees until it has been approved by Parliament.”
“There are other schemes from within every single university where those who cannot afford to pay the full fee at the beginning are allowed to pay a fraction, and then you are given instalment plans until you are able to pay everything. There are all these facilities available, so it’s not worth dramatizing the issue by one particular party,” he further stated, shedding more light on the situation.