The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has described as inadequate the 2% discount on the 15% fee increment given to some students by the University of Ghana.
The Council of the University of Ghana has approved this one-time discount for some students for the 2022/2023 academic year.
The development was borne out of an impasse which occurred between UG Management, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) over the 15% increase in fees.
Stakeholders and Parliamentary Select Committee on Education called on the University to consider offering a discount on fees to lessen the burden on students.
Reacting to this, the President of NUGS, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, said the student body was expecting a 5 percent reduction.
“The Union is not happy because we believe strongly that qw have made a strong case. At the time of the discussions, if my memory serves me right, we were expecting it to be dropped to 15% as the threshold had indicated. In our presentation to GTEC and Parliament, we were very clear that the justification of the fee by the University of Ghana was not something we could work with, purely because it went beyond the threshold. It was an open fact by everybody.”
“We were hoping that we would have had a minimum reduction of about 5 percent. Unfortunately, we have 2 percent to contend with. Going forward, we will scrutinise the communication that will come from GTEC as well so that they won’t tell us that the communication from GTEC wasn’t clear,” President of the National Union of Ghana Students noted on the Eyewitness News.
Meanwhile, a member of the Communications team of the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo said the institution should rather be commended for the gesture.
He said if NUGS is really interested in demanding a reduction in fees, it should also call on other universities in the country to learn from what the University of Ghana has done.
“If they are championing and articulating the interest of students in Ghana, then they should go to the other universities and make a similar appeal to them to reduce their fees by 2 percent. If they are not doing so, then I think they are not being fair to themselves and students,” Prof. Gyampo argued on Eyewitness News.
The discounts apply to full fee-paying programmes, programmes at the Accra City Campus and distance education programmes.
The Shidaa Foundation donates to Apataim Methodist Basic School in Axim
The Shidaa Foundation, led by Mr. Roland Akwensivie, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Canada, along with the talented Afrobeats artist “Cee Levelz” from the Delmi camp, generously donated educational materials to Apateim Methodist Basic School in the Nzema East Municipal, located in the Western region.
On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the foundation provided a motorized wheelchair and an array of learning materials, including books, writing utensils, erasers, highlighters, files, colored pencils, crayons, calculators, mathematical sets, and school bags.
In an interview with With the media , Mr. Roland Akwensivie explained the rationale behind selecting Apateim as the recipient of this thoughtful donation.
“Apateim was identified as a community in great need of educational support. We considered factors such as economic conditions, limited access to educational resources, and the number of underprivileged children in the area. Apateim stood out as a place where our donations would have a significant impact,” he stated.
Mr. Akwensivie also called upon the general public to lend their support to the Shidaa Foundation.
“The Shidaa Foundation warmly welcomes contributions from individuals and organizations who share our goal of empowering underserved youth and enhancing education. There are various ways to contribute, such as making donations, providing in-kind support, volunteering, establishing partnerships, advocating for our cause, sponsoring initiatives, or engaging with the community,” he emphasized.
The mission of the Shidaa Foundation is to promote education and empower underprivileged youth to achieve their full potential. The foundation is dedicated to offering educational assistance, resources, and opportunities to children in need, ensuring they possess the necessary tools to succeed in their academic pursuits.
The Shidaa Foundation envisions a brighter future, where education is accessible to all and serves as a beacon of hope in marginalized communities. Their ultimate goal is to touch the lives of as many children as possible, igniting their passion for learning and equipping them with the essential means to succeed. The foundation dreams of a world where education acts as a transformative force, breaking down barriers and empowering young individuals to fulfill their aspirations.
Slapping children as punishment can lead to deafness – Audiologist
Certified audiologist and lecturer at the University of Education Winneba (UEW), Cyril Mawuli Honu has cautioned parents and guardians to exercise constraints in how they reprimand their wards
He warned that slapping a child or giving children knocks on their head can easily damage their brain and ears.
“When it comes to babies and children, beating and slapping is what we call trauma. Depending on the severity, trauma could destroy a particular part of the ear. For instance, a slap can get the ear drum perforated, or destroy the arrangements of the three bones in the ear, hence affect hearing” Mawuli Honu stated.
He added that such slaps can cause tinnitus and a disturbance of the vestibular system hence make the victim lose balance.
“There are other ways to punish and child such as; time out, naughty corner, and natural consequence. Beating and hitting do not always correct the child but could even toughing the child’ he admonished.
“I was not deaf at birth but as time went by, my father got into alcoholism and he became wicked. So if I acted wrongly, he would lock up the door, beat me up and slap me mercilessly. It continued for sometime till I woke up one morning with a problem in my ears. My parents took me to the hospital for a check up on my ears but I started having challenges with hearing and eventually I became deaf” Fred Atto recounted his sad experience via his sign language interpreter to Johnnie Hughes on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show.
He entreats parents, guardians, teachers and people to refrain from slapping children as a form of punishment.
“I don’t want any child to go through my experience. It is not good. I think slapping a child as my father did for me to become deaf is not good” he emphasized.
Fred Addo holds an HND in Civil Engineering but is currently working as a cleaner but faces communication challenges and discrimination.
Government unlikely to review Free SHS policy – Kofi Asare
Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, says he doubts government will ever review the Free Senior High School programme.
According to him, the government has given no indication of doing so despite pressure from the International Monetary Fund to review the programme as part of its objectives to strengthen fiscal policy.
In IMF’s May 2023 country report on Ghana, it said the government had promised to “review all government flagship programmes and publish a strategy to decide their future course.”
The Free SHS programme is a key component of government’s flagship programmes and it is estimated to cost some GH¢2.9 billion. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has described the Free SHS as poorly targeted.
The IMF made this observation in its latest country report on Ghana.
Speaking on PM Express, Kofi Asare noted that the government’s recent response to the IMF was clear that the Free SHS policy intentionally lacked target and thus, there was nothing to be reviewed.
“I’m not sure government has resolved to review the Free Senior High School policy. Well, that is not my understanding of what the Minister of Information said this afternoon, and I don’t have any indication that government is going to review it.
“And I’ll be surprised if government reviews it because the communication on government position on the lack of targeting of the Free Senior High School is that government is aware, government is already aware that the Free Senior High School is not targeted so the World Bank said nothing new.
“And that the World Bank by saying that the policy is not targeted does not mean government is saying they’ve targeted it. That’s what Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said clear on JoyFM this afternoon.”
He added that till government categorically mentions that the Free SHS is to be reviewed; discussions on such a possibility are mere speculation.
“So to wit, until we see any formal communication from government indicating that it intends to review the Free Senior High School Programme, I think we will just be doing speculative exercise as we’ve been doing all this while.”
Meanwhile, the IMF has disclosed that Ghana spends close to 4% of its GDP on education with good results in terms of enrollment but poor learning outcomes.
Key identified areas by the IMF which need potential improvement in education spending include strengthening primary education resources, better teacher training, and stronger performance-based funding practices.