Government has over the past few weeks been in consultation with various stakeholders in the education sector. This is to provide a way forward for academic activities that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most universities have released their interim plans for the way forward in lieu of bringing the semester to a successful end.
PUSAG (Private Universities Students’ Association of Ghana) has on recent turn of events petitioned the Government of Ghana with some pertinent issues. On May 12, 2020, PUSAG issued a communique that spelt out a few issues they wanted resolved with government intervention. Paramount among the list of grievances given is the call for deeper involvement of the association in the decisions that are being made for tertiary cycle institutions at the wake of this pandemic. The communique stated,
‘We have also observed the total exclusion of Private Universities from various stakeholder engagements and consultations intended to control the spread of the pandemic and also on initiatives being proposed to cushion the universities in these difficult times.’
The association also made clear some suggestions they deemed necessary to help ease the burden of private universities which are funded on a major scale by fees students pay. The suggestions are as follows:
- The creation of a stimulus relief package for Private Universities through the issue of interest free loans by banks. This is to help resuscitate or buffer up the losses from the financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A plea for the inclusion of private universities in actions and policies taken by Government in resolving widespread challenges with the e-learning platforms that are being utilised by most academic institutions.
- A call on Government to speed up the enactment of the Education Regulatory Bodies Bill, 2019. This is to cater for some fees such as affiliation fees which students of some of such universities are made to pay.
- A call for management of private universities to provide some form of relief to students as regards the payment of sports and recreational fees, maintenance/ utility fees, library fees and others as such.
They finally called on management of private universities to address concerns regarding the challenges facing most students when accessing these e-learning platforms provided by the universities.
Source: hypercitigh.com | Prince Kofi Guadzi |Knust