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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Columnist: Atiemo, Paul Obeng

The ghost yet unborn – the concept of students parliament

The thought of the Students Representative Council (SRC) being an embodiment of corrupt and selfish persons is the notion of most students in the various tertiary institutions.

Functionally, the SRC is the official mouth piece of the student body wherever they are situated and all students by statute are part. Notwithstanding, the weakness of the SRC to carry out its mandate is largely associated to the weak internal mechanisms to check its operations.

Structurally, the SRC (just like national government) comprises the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. However, the level of the executive control over the other arms of the SRC’s designated internal control mechanisms has over the years given credence to the perception of the student that their representatives are only NOT interested in students’ welfare but themselves.

Failure of the Parliamentary Councils to yield to the dictates of the SRC executive means the executive’s refusal to pay their allowances likewise the judiciary. As a result both the legislature and Judiciary capitulate to the whims of the executive. In the quest of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana to extend its core ideals of democracy and to consciously bring up leaders at all levels of governance and in society, initiated THE STUDENTS PARLIAMENT HOUSE concept which so far has adopted the posture of additionally check mating the SRCs within their circles from the ‘excesses’.

Sitting or meeting to resolve on matters of students’ interest without monetary motivation nor SRC executive influence on the appointment of its ‘Speaker’ or leadership enhances transparency to debates on matters of students interest. Conclusively, the Students Parliament House has become the last line of defense to the student populace, and as a credible and neutral body to speak on their behalf especially when the SRC becomes anesthetic to the plight of students. Premised on facts, the ‘Speaker’ convenes a sitting and in consultation with the House, comes up with resolutions of which copies are covertly or overtly circulated to all persons concerned with the subject of the resolution.

Motivated solely to do what is right, on subjects of students’ interest, devoid of biases; our resolutions are unanimous and sincere and always have the support of majority of the student populace.

With a National Body being the Ghana National Students Parliament, activities of the National Union Ghana Students (NUGS) is also expected to be check mated. As a young organization formed in 2007 under the auspices of the Public Affairs directorate of the Parliament House, coupled with its reputation of checkmating the SRC; conscious opposition and implanting of moles into the ‘House’ to actuate confusion is amongst the modus operandi adopted by the SRC to breakdown the formation and focus of the Students Parliament House.

Sourcing strength from our conviction and passion to serve society and to tell the truth at all times damn the consequences, we have been able to withstand the financial muscles and evil operandi of the SRCs and other ill motive persons in ‘high places’. Convinced that we shall be more efficient in the delivery of our mandate in the near future, frantic efforts are now made by ‘adversaries’ to surgically suffocate our efforts even without provocation.

With a presence in KNUST, UG, UCC, UMAT, UDS – Navrongo and Tamale, UEW-K, Accra, Kumasi and Koforidua Polytechnics, and still counting, I am confident that with time, corruption and negligence of responsibility amongst student leadership especially at the SRC level shall be done away with.

I foresee a generation of Student Parliamentarians that will carry the torch of honor fearlessly.

Posterity shall be grateful for our sacrifices.

Paul Obeng Atiemo

the writer is the Speaker of the KNUST Students Parliament House (paulaoben@yahoo.com)/facebook