KNUST Students’ Parliament has cited the protracted strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) as one of the reasons for the inability of over 6,000 students to pay their academic fees.
Management of the University on Wednesday, April 20 announced that the students have had to defer their courses as a result of delay in payment of fees, in accordance with the Student Credit and Debt Management Policy.
“Harsh” and “inconsiderate”
In commending KNUST’s leadership for implementing the policy to the letter, the KNUST Students’ Parliament House says the decision is “harsh” and “inconsiderate”.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, April 20, it said the timing was even not appropriate as many students only got to know about the Policy a few moments to its implementation.
“Furthermore, the University Relations Office and various forms of student communication did a poor job of informing students about the policy’s requirements,” it said in the press release.
“Except for an impromptu flier with a little portion of the policy captured on it, no extensive measures were taken to address Students on this issue.”
It cited the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) for being complicit in this.
The KNUST Students’ Parliament House also cited the UTAG strike in January as another cause of the situation.
“We can’t address this problem without taking into account the disruptions to the academic schedule caused by the UTAG strike, which has caused students to stay and spend longer than they intended before returning to campus.
“We must keep in mind that some students are self-parenting and may be obliged to live on their tuition fees as a result of the extended academic calendar.”
Rita Akosua Dickson – “listening mother”
The House appealed to the management of the university, particularly “listening mother” Vice-Chancellor Professor Rita Akosua Dickson to “consider using this academic year to educate students on the new policy so it can take full effect the next academic year”.
“The Management, we know, has played a number of motherly when it comes to issues of students welfare. At a time like this, all we seek is an extension of the time to the next academic year. This they have done before, and we know as listening leaders as they have always been, they will consider this too. It is our hope that swift action is taken to reverse this action within the shortest possible time to give students the concentration and all the attention they need to sit for the end of semester examination.”