General News of Monday, 28 June 2004
Accra, June 28, GNA - The University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) on Monday called on the University Council to desist from increasing the Academic Facility User Fees and the Residential Facility User Fees in the 2004- 2005 academic year.
It said an increase in the fees could not be supported by the economic conditions of parents and students "In a country with a minimum wage of a little over 10,000 cedis a day, and a country that identifies education as key to its developmental aspirations, education at all levels ought to be affordable."
Mr Keli Kwasi Delataa, President of USAG, made the call at a press conference in Accra to state the students' position on the alleged 100 per cent proposed increase in the fees.
He said the yearly increases in the User Fees had not been matched by improvements and expansions of lecture and residential facilities, adding that any increase would be objected to by the university students.
"While we maintain our position of zero per cent increase in the Academic and Residential Facility User fees, we call on our university authorities in the spirit of mutual respect to integrate students fully in the determination of other fee components as a matter of urgency. "It is a wrongheaded approach to fix fees before soliciting students' involvement," he said.
Mr Delataa expressed concern about the number of student representatives on the University Council, which he said was inimical to the decisions that emanated from the Council to affect the lives of students.
"The University Council with an overall membership of 13 has only two students representatives," he complained The USAG is one of the five blocs that constitute the National Union of Ghana Students. It aims at promoting and protecting the welfare of university students.
The other four blocs are: The Graduate Students Association of Ghana; The Ghana Union of Professional Students; The Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana; and The Regional Student's Representatives Council of Secondary Schools.