Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee and MP for Akatsi North Constituency, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, has asked tertiary education students to report management of their institution to Parliament if they are being levied inappropriately.
His statement comes at a time when students of some universities in the country are complaining over increment in their academic charges.
At the University of Ghana, the week has seen a relatively high level of disagreement between student leaders and management over the increment of residential hall fees for both residents in the traditional halls and the University of Ghana Enterprise Limited Halls.
University Management’s proposal to increase residential fees faced stiff opposition from the Students Representative Council.
Also at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, academic fees for fresh students for the 2019/2020 academic year witnessed an upward adjustment, contrary to a directive from the Education Ministry.
Although Management of various tertiary institutions has intimated the need for a hike in academic fees, the 2016 amendment of the Fees and Charges Act 2009 (Act 793) prevents them from doing so at their own rate.
The Act requires all Vice-Chancellors of public universities to seek parliamentary approval for fees and levies they intend to charge before sending them out to students.
Speaking to UniversNews, Peter Notsu-Kotoe reiterated the Education Ministry’s directive concerning academic fees for the 2019/2020 academic year, saying that all tertiary institutions should maintain the 2016/2017 charges.
“The understanding and instruction being given by the Minister for Education is that they should continue to charge the 2016/2017 academic year fees until a new fee is approved for them,” he said.
He further described as illegal the attempt by some university managements to upwardly review fees when parliament was yet to approve them.
He says that parliament could only take actions against the institution if a formal complaint is lodged to parliament by an interested party
“It’s an illegal fee that they are charging because parliament has not approved the fees. any fee they charge apart from what they’ve been instructed to charge is illegal. We don’t take any action until we receive an official complaint from the public or those affected because we need a documentary proof to show that this is what they have charged,” Peter Notsu-Kotoe