Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch has been invited to abandon its intention to free public universities from their salary, as it will mean the doom for the accessibility of education.
According to the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, this initiative by the government has an impact on the country’s policy on equitable access to tertiary education.
“The implication of that policy on equitable access to the rights conferred on Ghanaians under article 24, 25 of the constitution, is that of progressively free tertiary education and its impact on the purpose of governments to increase tertiary enrollment from 18% to 40% 2030 that we are struggling to achieve even a percentage point in the last four years,” he said.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday announced the decision to provide such institutions with a fixed amount of “block grants” in a bid to reduce public spending.
This is one of the many measures that the minister explained as the plan for the road to economic recovery.
Mr. Asare noted that this intervention “restricts access to tertiary education because universities now have the opportunity to charge realistic fees.
He explained that when universities are forced to charge reasonable fees, “they will end up increasing the number of students who are called payers.”
“When you have that happen, the meaning is that more and more students who have the resources will not be able to enter tertiary education because it becomes commoditized, and so that is what this particular initiative means,” he added.
I believe that the introduction of such an intervention for the economy would have been a good idea, but not in the field of education, where it is about equal access.
Dr. Clement Apaak, Deputy Ranking Member of Parliament’s Education Committee, expressed similar concerns about the intervention.
He said the implications are far-reaching and potentially dire in determining who can afford university education in Ghana.
“Universities should then find ways to generate enough resources. So, for example, they pay teachers and other non-teaching staff in the university, and if this happened literally and consequentially, the university should then charge students the rates that allow them to survive during the absence of government subsidy,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, some students of the University of Ghana are already fearing the possible impact on fees.
“It will cause a lot of damage because we believe in the SHS that they were given a free education, so what about us,” a student told JoyNews.
Another student asked the government to consider the finances of students in public universities.
“The government should consider its decision and do it in such a way that it will benefit us all because some of us come from poor homes, and once they have increased the amount, it is not all of us who will pay,” he said. .
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