30 June 2017

Abolish penalties on late payment of school fees – Oko Vanderpuye to Gov’t

Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Alfred Oko Vanderpuye, is calling for the immediate abrogation of penalties on late payment of school fees charged by the various public universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.

In his view, not only does the unsupported behavior of these public universities is at variance with the laws of the land, especially, under Article 25 of the 1992 Constitution, which literally talks about the progressive introduction of free education at both secondary and higher education levels, it also violates the various Acts establishing these public tertiary institutions.

“Mr. Speaker, even though laudable, since 1992, all governments have not been able to realize free education under Article 25 for our children. It is for this reason that there is the need to regulate the payment of charges for late school fees and where possible, poor but brilliant students must not suffer for successive governments’ inability to provide the ends of education.”

“On my part, I submit for careful view that the citizen must not suffer for a thing caused by various governments to any measure of detriment. I would suggest if possible such practices must be abrogated for our educational system. Taken the pain in reviewing the various statutes for the public tertiary institutions, I have not come across any single regulation that warrants the levying of these charges perpetuated at the faculty levels of our tertiary institutions. Even though the public universities are obliged under the statutes establishing them to augment their financial resources such as charging approved school fees, the payment of these charges for late payment of school fees levied on students is without the blessing of the sector Minister, or the various university councils. They are done on the blind side of the law,” he noted.

Mr. Vanderpuye made this observation in a statement he delivered on the floor of Parliament, Thursday, to draw Members attention to the emerging trend of penalties charged on late payment of school fees that is gradually creeping into the country’s educational system.

Telling the honorable members that the penalties charged on late payment of school fees are very destructive to some children since they ranges from GH₵50.00 to GH₵500.00, the former Accra Mayor added that the situation if not unchecked will crystallizes into a measure beyond not just depriving the poor the full realization of affordable education but will promote and deepen the poverty cycle in the country.

Mr. Vanderpuye also drew the legislator’s attention to the government’s inability to provide adequate funding to fully realize the aim of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).

“This is an Act established to fund or assist nationwide financing of education; to provide for the management of the fund and to provide for related matters. For instance, to provide supplementary funding to the Scholarship Secretariat for the grant of scholarships to gifted but needy students for studies in second cycle and accredited tertiary institutions in the country. On a balance of hardship, this inability should not be visited on the vulnerable students.”

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