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Opinions of Thursday, 4 August 2016

Columnist: Appiah, Isaac

Open letter to the rector, Koforidua Polytechnic

Dear Madam, Subject: Open letter concerning the recent fees increment

With high sense of humility, I bring to you a solidarity greeting from the student body. It is with a huge degree of frustration and desperation with which I write this letter. I wish to use this medium to express my dissatisfaction over the recent increment in our fees for the 2016/17 academic year.

I am not against an increment in school fees, as long as it is proper, rational and realistic. The percentage of the increment is very outrageous and unacceptable looking at the recent economic hardship in the country. The cost of education is becoming unbearable and out of reach of the ordinary students. Most students have expressed intentions of deferring their courses due to the high rocketing fees they are supposed to pay next academic year.

The heat of whatever the management is facing should not and cannot be taken to students who fought their way through the tough admission process. I believe strongly that anything whatsoever pertaining to the running and management of the polytechnic should be taken out on the government, not on poor students who can barely afford a credible accommodation, one of human basic needs in an academic year.

Students cannot make enough money to cover the cost of fees hikes and therefore cannot afford to pay these exorbitant fees. This is too much of a burden on both students and parents. Most students are already struggling with financial constraints and over bearing cost of accommodation around campus. I believe astronomical increase in cost of education are forcing many Ghanaians, especially parents to resort to illegitimate means to make ends meet.

Many are on the streets that supposed to be on the four walls of our tertiary institutions but are unable due to high cost of education. Economists believe that the solution to combating poverty is to provide the poor with better education and training. I therefore plead with management to call on the government to perform its obligation to the polytechnic in order to help reduce the fees. High increment is not a determinant of better educational standard. The need for fees reduction is very necessary so that there will be equality of educational acquisition. We cannot afford the fees imposed on us and hope our call for a reduction would be heeded.

The 1992 constitution state clearly that, "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education’. If education is indeed a right as stipulated by the1992 constitution, then there must be concerted effort to put the aspirations of the constitution and help build the human capacity of this country.

Please help us since I am writing on behalf of the silent majority. HEAR OUR PLEA, LEST WE DROP OUT!!! Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Isaac Appianin, a concerned student. Cc: The Rector Vice Rector Dean of Students' Affairs HoDs The Student Representative Council (SRC)