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Opinions of Monday, 1 August 2011

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

A Heartless Administration

In my life, one of my most difficult times was when I was forcibly chased out of the boarding house for non payment of fees. I had to struggle to travel a long distance most of the time on foot to and from school. The reason was that my fathers business had collapsed due to harsh economic policies by the then NDC1. And in that same period the school and boarding fee was increased to 74,000 cedis from 32,000 cedis. Students and parents alike cried for a consideration, but it never came. This was in 1994. I was in my second year in the secondary school. As loud as we cried, the wicked Rawlings-Akaa led NDC never heard us. A heartless administration it was.

In those times stories of the Nana Konadu's massaging jaccuzi, the Rawlings use of a warplane as a hobby for his beloved daughter, stories of the caiman island jet purchase, and the newly imported pajaros was a common staple served to us in the media by the few bold whilst cash and carry was burrying our sick. Those in charge of the affairs of Ghana in those days had all their children studying abroad. Those same people are people who benefitted from the generousity of mother Ghana when they had scholarships to study up to university level and above. It was possible then to attain PHD at the age of 27 because once you had the brain to learn, money was nothing to think of. Ghana paid all.

When a man multreats his children in revenge of the bad treatment metted on him by his father it sounds a bit jistifiable although it is never right. But when a father who was loved and pamperred dishes out pain and harshness to his children, he is just heartless and his own conscience judges him badly. It is an act that will be condemned in every school of thought. The NDC then made up of people who were virtually educated with state funds apparently crippled my studies. I was bitter. I eventually completed SSS with a lot of arrears to pay. Arrears I needed to pay if I wanted to see my results.

Unfortunately for me my father died of heart related problems shortly after my sss graduation and I had to struggle to find money and pay those arrears before my results could reach my hands. It took me two hard working years to gather that money and get my results. I did any work my hand could reach. Carrying concrete, selling fan milk, selling ice cream, I also did shoe shine and sold graphic by the roadside. By that time my mates were in their second years in some tertiary institutions. Of course those whoose parents had money. Finally when I had the results, I needed to write Mathematics again. This is just a tip of what I went through because of harsh educational policies implemented by an NDC administration. I could have become anything if I was not focused on achieving my aims in life.

The highest number of school drop outs due to finacial constraints was in those periods. From the 90s to this time more students fell out along the way because of exobitant fees right from JSS. A great number joined the forces, the majority being those who had links within the forces. If you just went for enlistment based on your qualifications you deceived yourself. I personally tried the millitary and Police. I knew I could get even 90 to 100 percent if the merrit was based on the examinations but I never got enlisted. The forces swelled with some particular tribes, all sincere Ghanaians know this.

In those days to hear that somebody was in the university was like making it to heaven. The money involved was so huge. Even getting admitted in schools like OWASS, Prempeh College, Achimota, Accra Presec was a prestige hard to come by. Schooling in general began to be too expensive. The only people with a little advantage were the northerners because Dr Kwame Nkrumah had left the northern scholarship for them.

I thoght that This Mills-Mahama led administration would have been a bit consederate when it comes to matters of education. Especially Pres Mills, who is a benefactor of the sponsorship of students by the government of Ghana in his days and also spent most of his workoling days as a lecturer. Although some argue that he may never have known what it is to be paying a child's fees, his relationship with students should have exposed him to what it feels when a good student is not in school because of non payment of fees.

This recent increase in the fees of the universities has touched my marrow, a 45% increase is no joke. Some students are already paying 10 to 15million cedis for a course per semester. Students and parents alike are really suffering. Apart from the exorbitant fees charged by both private and public universities, accommodation for this students is supposed to be a cause of worry to any caring governmant. But whilst students are wailing their hearts out, our governement and the Mills administration are busy processing documents for the acquisition of five jets at inflated costs. They are busy buying jets which should cost 32 million dollars each at 55 million dollars. They're busy buying a million dollar entertainment gadgets to fix into one jet. They are busy and ready to spend 17 million dollars on a single hangar to park a jet.

This Administration is just Heartless. One of those jets could subsidice the fees of these future leaders for years, but no. They will rather purchase another presidential jet when the one brought by Kuffour which came in their time is parked unused. I am very convinced that President Mills and his administration are insensitive to the plights and troubles facing the Ghanaian. Students has no place in their heart although most of them like the Ahwois, Awoonors, Mahamas and a lot more of them were taken care of by The State.

When Nana Addo comes to power, I will personally hold him for one thing; his promise of making SHS free. It is a policy I will love to see implemented. For the consitency he has shown on this policy, I believe he will do it.

Anywhere you see the Mills led NDC you can as well call it A HEARTLESS ADMINISTRATION.

Noah Dugubrame Asare. 004917674298893.