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Opinions of Monday, 14 September 2015

Columnist: Johnson Nkrumah

The rot at University of Education, Winneba!

There is a potential of an explosion at the University of Education, Winneba, (UEW) if the necessary measures are not taken by the Ministry of Education to rectify the situation.

The corruption at this University is so gargantuan that, it would surpass any form of corruption in the public sector ever recorded in Ghana. The Woyome case may seem a drop in the ocean when compared to what is currently going on at UEW.

Parents in particular and students in general are at the receiving end of this massive corruption being perpetrated by the Vice Chancellor (VC), the Registrar and the Finance Officer (FO) who apparently is the Chief Corruption Officer.

This publication is as a result of a painstaking investigation by a concerned parent spanning over six (6) months.

To start with, students pursuing the Bachelor of Business Administration program (BBA) are required to pay a special training fee of Ghc 600 this academic year 2015/2016. This fee is paid every academic year, so if this is multiplied by 5,000 students, a sum of Ghc 3m is arrived at. It must be pointed out that, since the inception of this special training fee almost six (6) ago, only one ‘special training’ program has been provided, and this was during the course of the second semester of last academic year, thus, 2014/2015.

Enquiries revealed that, when a request was made by the Business Education Department to the Finance Officer to (FO) provide at least a bottled mineral drink like Coke or Malt and a pie for the participating students and officials, this was turned down by the FO, with the excuse that, there was no funds. What is the purpose of the so-called special fees our wards are paying? Only water was provided for the participants!

Moving on, the internet service being provided at the Social Sciences faculty block at the North Campus of UEW, where the BBA Department is located, is nothing to write home about. This can best be described as an internet disservice! The Wi-Fi has never worked for even once since my ward started the BBA program at UEW.

However, the same internet provider who provides internet Wi-Fi services at the main administration block where the VC’s office is located and also provides internet service at the Pecku building and its annex is able to provide a very good service at these two (2) locations without qualms. It is clear that, a top official of this University is conniving with the internet service provider to divert the funds meant for the provision of Wi-Fi services at the faculty block! If this not the case, why is it that several complaints made by students, office staff and lecturers has yielded no positive results?

Another instance of rot at UEW is the question of the provision of a shuttle bus service between the North and South Campuses. When a proposal was made to provide a shuttle bus service some years back, the FO and Registrar in particular, kicked against it. Their reason being that, they own so much of the taxis operating in Winneba and their main passengers are students commuting between the two (2) campuses, and so if a bus service is laid on for the students, it will deny their taxis of income!! ‘Greedy bastards’ to borrow the words of Ex-President Rawlings!

The stench emanating from UEW is so powerful that, if forensic Auditors are not sent immediately, the VC who is retiring on 30th September 2015 will leave with his booty. For example, somewhere in April/May of 2015, the VC and Registrar submitted a claim for the refund of Ghc 6,600 for the purchase of two (2) mobile phones!! One mobile phone amounting to Ghc 3,300! This is daylight robbery! The payment for this dubious claim was processed in less than a week, whilst staff who submitted claims for rent allowances, transport allowance, medical refunds, etc. had to wait months if not years.

In addition, the libraries of UEW are stocked with outdated books and journals. The latest textbooks in the libraries at both the north and south campuses, dates back to 1980. There is no online resource for the students. Checks revealed that, Law books amounting to well over Ghc 6,000 were purchased by the University at the beginning of 2015. However, none of these books is relevant for the BBA program or any other program run by the university.

It is clear that, the FO and the Registrar in particular purchased these books with public funds to pursue their private Bachelor of Laws (LLB) studies. None of the over twenty (20) books purchased can be found in any of the libraries. There is no single record at any of UEW libraries to indicate that those particular Law books ever entered the premises of the libraries.

It is clear that, those Law books were purchased ostensibly by the Registrar to further his course of becoming a legal practitioner. He is retiring as a Registrar in a couple of years’ time and has made it clear to close associates that, he intends to qualify as a Lawyer and return to UEW to Head the Legal Services Department to continue the loot of State funds at UEW as Head of Legal Services from where he stopped as Registrar of UEW!! No Lawyer in Ghana is qualified to Head the Legal Services of UEW apart from a corrupt Registrar who is currently pursuing an LLB Course of study at a private University!!

Honourable Minister of Education, do Ghanaians in general and the poor parents of the students of the University of Education, Winneba, a great service by causing a team of independent forensic Auditors to conduct an Audit into the financial affairs of UEW with a microcrospic lens. Furthermore, a Committee should be set up to conduct an investigation into all the transactions of UEW.

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