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Opinions of Sunday, 24 June 2018

Columnist: Zak Musbau

Outrageous fees increment in public universities: A case of Ghana Institute of Journalism

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The cost of education at the Ghana Institute of Journalism has become utterly unbearable for many.

The institute has made a 15% and 20% increment for the 2018/19 academic year facility user for the regular students and weekend students respectively.

This situation implies that the first year students will have to pay GHC2,800 other than the GHC2,400 paid last year. Also, the level 200 students will have to pay GHC2,760 other than the GHC2,400 paid in 2017/18 academic year.

Then the level 300 students are compelled to pay GHC2,560 rather than the 2,200 paid previously. And the final year students will have to pay 2,300¢ instead of the GHC2,000 paid last year. Then the weekend students in level 300 now have to pay GHC3,160 and GHC3,120 for the Level 400 weekend students of the GHC2,600 paid last year.

It will interest you to know that these fees does not include any hostel accommodation or whatsoever. These are purely for what is described as facility user fees.

A monster whose details remains forever unknown. That's to say, the exact breakdown of what constitutes this fee is not unknown. Moreover, reasons for this outrageous increase has not been provided and one thing is clear that this is going to be a huge burden to many students in the institute who are already struggling to with the huge fees of last year.

The campus of the Ghana Institute Of Journalism hasn't changed any bit. Students still scramble for space outside lecture halls. Having to sit under car parks and other uncomfortable places to do simple group discussions.

Students are still served with an inadequately stocked library whose capacity is about 80 people with a student population of about 2,500.

Wireless Internet connectivity remains a mirage as the only internet provider on campus is best described as a white elephant. And students still have gravels-filled space as compound while the campus radio station remains equally underdeveloped.

It must be noted that the cost of tertiary education in Ghana is increasingly becoming unbearable by the day. Especially for public institutions who are believed to be more affordable for the ordinary Ghanaian. I know, Parliament has a responsibility to supervise the charging of fees at public tertiary institutions.

Therefore, I request that Parliament takes a close look at the activities of these tertiary institutions in charging fees. Parliament remains the only confidence we have to check this insensitivity killing the ordinary Ghanaian and gradually making tertiary education a thing only for the wealthy.

(Student, Ghana Institute of Journalism, )