A student association calling itself the Concerned Tertiary Students of GIJ (CTSG) has called on the management of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) to rescind its decision to increase fees for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The students are arguing that despite the fact that they did not complete the previous academic year due to the abrupt close down of schools as part of the government’s measures to control the spread of COVID-19, they did not get a refund. Rather, they have been slapped with a 5% fee increment.
A statement issued by the group on Tuesday, 6 October 2020 indicated the school has not officially communicated the new development with them. But their examination results from the just ended academic year have been withheld, pending payment of the new “proposed” fees for the new academic year.
Additionally, a deadline of 9 October 2020 has been set.
Parts of the statement read: “Concerning our school, the Ghana Institute of Journalism, there has not been any official communique from the management to students about the increase in fees. This increment, termed as proposed, has however been circulated on student platforms and equally stated on every student’s academic portal.
“Students of the institute are now to pay the said fees stated on the portal even before they get access to results from the 2019/2020 academic year, an academic year already paid for. It is interesting to note that a deadline i.e. October 9 has been stated on the portal when management has not even communicated officially to students about when the 2020/2021 academic year starts,” it added.
The Concerned Tertiary Students of GIJ described as illegal, the fee increment because Parliament has not approved the new fees.
“We state that since there has not been any official notice from the parliament of Ghana substantiating fee increment, it is enough to say that the fee increment is illegal, a subtle form of exploitation, and should be treated as such by all sundry,” the statement read.
Speaking to Class91.3FM’s Kojo Oppong Asamoah on 12 Live today, the convener for the Group, Samira Mohammed Ibn Moro said that they have met the Dean of Students and engaged management of the school but the feedback has not been “affirmative and forthcoming.”
She reiterated that the increment has not been appropriately communicated.
“If there’s going to be an increment, it is just fair for tertiary institutions to let the general student body know that we’re increasing your fees for the 2020/2021 academic year and these are the reasons. But you don’t just put it on the portal for students to chance upon it and assume that it is an official way of communicating. It is not done and it is not proper,” she said.
Ms Mohammed Ibn Moro said that the group has begun engagements with the Ministry of Education and other quarters to seek redress, adding that: “We’re calling on the government to extend the national cake to the tertiary students because all of us have suffered the dire impact of the COVID-19 so it is not considerate on the part of tertiary institutions to increase fees in this material condition.”
Read the full statement below:
A CALL FOR TERTIARY FEE REDUCTION FOR THE 2020/2021 ACADEMIC YEAR
The Concerned Tertiary Students of GIJ (CTSG), a vibrant student association is calling on the management and administrative bodies of tertiary institutions to rescind their decision of fee increment for the 2020/2021 academic year.
The Ghana Institute of Journalism and the University of Ghana are facing a 5% and 12% respective fee increment for the upcoming 2020/2021 academic year with hints of increment from other tertiary institutions.
To start with, the last semester of the past academic year was truncated due to the urgency to close down schools and the nation at large to curb the spread of the virus. Due to this, tertiary students did not fully benefit from the fees they paid in the 2019/2020 academic year. Several calls from some student bodies for a refund have however not been heeded to.
Concerning our school, the Ghana Institute of Journalism, there has not been any official communique from the management to students about the increase in fees. This increment, termed as proposed, has however been circulated on student platforms and equally stated on every student’s academic portal.
Students of the institute are now to pay the said fees stated on the portal even before they get access to results from the 2019/2020 academic year, an academic year already paid for. It is interesting to note that a deadline i.e. October 9 has been stated on the portal when management has not even communicated officially to students about when the 2020/2021 academic year starts.
We state that since there has not been any official notice from the parliament of Ghana substantiating fee increment, it is enough to say that the fee increment is illegal, a subtle form of exploitation, and should be treated as such by all sundry.
The concerned Tertiary Students of GIJ hereby calls on the management of the institute to rescind their decision on the increment of the fees for the 2020/2021 academic year, officially inform students of the nature and structure of the coming semester, and extend the deadline for the decreased fees. We equally call on the Government of Ghana and the Ministry of education to listen to the plea of tertiary students and respond affirmatively to the fee decrement call from tertiary students.
A larger number of students are on the verge of dropping out of school because of such an inconsiderate decision. The monetary commitment for the government in reducing school fees would not constitute a disadvantage to other beneficiaries of the Coronavirus Alleviation Program.
According to the World Education Service, there were 444,000 tertiary students in Ghana in 2017. Three years now, we are estimating it to be hovering around 500,000. On average, a Ghanaian tertiary student pays about GH¢2000.00 as fees annually. This means the government would have to absorb about GH¢600.00 off the tuition of every tertiary student. This amounts to about GH¢300 million.
This is one-fourth of the money allocated to the Coronavirus Alleviation Fund set up to help alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians in these tumultuous times. We believe this amount is within a range that the government can absorb.
We appreciate the relentless efforts our President to help his people during these tough times of the nation. We believe that directing funds from the Coronavirus alleviation program to help reduce fees is one of the key measures to further help the people of Ghana in these tough times.
We pray for the government to also look at education, and help Ghanaian students in these tough times. We will duly avail ourselves for more deliberations on the petition.
With intense pressure from administrative heads, students are poised and ready to, by any means necessary, seek redress and thus issue an ultimatum of fourteen days after which we will result in using other mechanisms to seek justice due to the increasing number of student agitations.