Coronavirus pandemic is an unfortunate global incident, which has not only claimed lives but also brought challenges to the economies of several countries including Ghana.
We applaud the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo-Danquah Akuffo-Addo for the steps taken to address COVID-19’s negative economic impacts on Ghanaian people. Prominent amongst those measures include the government’s decision to absorption of half the utility cost for all Ghanaian households for three months.
Also, the decision to provide stimulus packages for business which have come under stress is well thought of, as it will save many from potential job losses. However, we feel that as university students, we have been left out from the government’s Coronavirus Alleviation Program.
We the undersigned students of various Technical universities in Ghana, call on GNUTS
to champion a sustained campaign at getting the government to reduce the fees for Technical universities as part of the Coronavirus Alleviation programme. We hereby through GNUTS, call for 30 per cent reduction of school fees for 2020/2021 academic year, due to the reasons listed below;
1. Despite the ease of lockdown restrictions, with day to day activities resuming, economic activities are still being crippled by ripples of the pandemic. Economic activities in the informal sector which account for 90% of Ghanaians are the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Trotro and Taxi drivers are experiencing low sales due to the observation of social distancing protocol in their vehicles. Street hawkers, market women are also experiencing low patronage. Many of these Ghanaians are parents with families to take care of. With low income due to low sales, the finances of many parents who work in the informal sector have tumbled. This will adversely affect their ability to cater for their wards in various tertiary institutions in the country.
2. Some of the parents who work in the formal sector have either been laid off or are enduring a 50% salary cut. This imposes severe economic hardships on them. Catering for their families won’t come easy, let alone meeting their obligation of paying school fees.
3. Aside from the tuition fees, parents also cater for other expenses of their wards such as accommodation, feeding, etc.
4. A large number of university students cater for themselves. The pandemic has led to massive lay-offs. Such students would have a hard time meeting the financial requirement of their education.
We propose the following as ways the government can reduce our fees;
1. We propose a 30% reduction in tuition fees for all university students. Ghana had a student population of about 444,000 in 2017. Three years now, we can expect it to be hovering around 500,000. On average, a Ghanaian tertiary student pays about
GH¢2000.00 as fees. This means the government would have to absorb about GH¢600.00 off the tuition per tertiary student. This amounts to GH¢300 million, which we believe is within the range that the government can absorb. It is well within the range that will not constitute a disadvantage to other sectors in the disbursement of the Coronavirus Alleviation Program funds.
We appreciate the relentless efforts our President is making during these tough times. We believe that directing funds from the Coronavirus alleviation program to help reduce fees is key in the fight against the economic impact of coronavirus and a big way to show support for all Ghanaian students during these tough times.
CC: ALL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS