President of the Student Representative Council at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Mr. Samuel Amoako Kusi has in a letter addressed to the student populace of the University justified the increment in the fees schedule for the 2016/2017 academic year.
In his letter, he explained that the rate of increment of items on the fees is dependent on the category it falls under. The fees schedule for KNUST is categorized into three sections thus the Academic facility User fee(A), other charges(B1) comprising of Examination fee, matriculation fee, physical development levy etc. and additional charges(B2) which is mainly made up of Practical fees and field trip fee.
He explained that increment in the academic facility user fee is bound by law and that the government of Ghana in 1997 signed a “white paper” that allowed Tertiary institutions to increase the academic facility user fee by a minimum of 10% every academic year.
He further explained that increment of items captioned under the ‘other charges’ category on the fees are influenced by the inflation rate. He stated that the rate of increase at this category affects individual items captioned under the ‘other charges’ category. He revealed that the increment rate for items under the ‘other charges’ category is 18% for the 2016/2017 academic year.
He however stated that his outfit has ensured that increment in some components in the school fees comes with improved services as well. He explained that the 20 Ghana cedis increment in the health component comes with an expansion of the student clinic to create more bed spaces and also purchasing of an ambulance and increase in the number of doctors for the student clinic. He also explained that the 20 Ghana cedis increment in the paperless communication component on the fee schedule will result in an increase in the data bundle given to students every month from 300MB to 1GB, together with 25minutes free call to all networks as well as 300minutes free calls to all Vodafone users.
Mr. Amoako has however assured students that his outfit is working assiduously to resolve discrepancies arising from the practical fee and field trips fee component captioned under the additional charges for the Sciences, Engineering and Medicine students with respect to the additional 300 Ghana cedis increment.
Meanwhile, a group of students led by Mr. Samuel G. Mensah, popularly known as Supremo, have petitioned the office of the SRC and other relevant authorities seeking for a reduction in the fees of the student and explanation for the existence of some components in the schedule of fees for the 2016/2017 academic year. In their petition signed by Mr. Samuel G. Mensah, they clearly stated that the schedule of fees shows a possible exploitation of the students of KNUST and they believe that most of the fees are undoubtedly increased beyond the maximum level of increment. They also stated that some of the components on the fees schedule are questionable and of “ghost nature” since their relevance is never felt throughout students stay on campus.
The statement demanded an explanation from the SRC and relevant stakeholders as to why there are charges for SRC development fund, SRC welfare fund, NUGS dues and endowment fund aside the SRC dues students pay.
Mr. Samuel G. Mensah and his outfit have launched an online “fees must drop” campaign pending an official response from the SRC and the other relevant authorities.