Undergraduate students of the University of Ghana have opposed plans by the University management to impose utility fees on them at the beginning of the 2016/2017 academic year.
Proposed fees for water and electricity have been pegged at GHc 922 and GHc 2,326 for non-resident and resident students respectively. These charges are to help the University clear debts it owes utility companies.The fees are yet to be approved by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.
But students have vehemently opposed this unprecedented move. For them, utility fees should not even arise. Treasurer of the SRC, Prince Ampofo Amoah( FBI Prince), has described it as “very harsh”.
The outraged students have subsequently petitioned the vice-chancellor on the matter. The petitioners, led by Mr Schandorf D. Ayirebi- Acquah, Mr Julius Jayson Botchway,Daniel Otting Awuah and Afful Kwaku Appiah, are of the view that students already face a “huge challenge financially” and the imposition of utility fees will make their situation unbearable.
They have therefore appealed to the vice chancellor to consider abandoning all plans regarding the proposed fees since “STUDENTS CANNOT PAY THE UTILITY BILLS as from next academic year…”
Below is the petition in full:
Petition On The Payment Of Utility Bills
We the undersigned students of the University Of Ghana write to register our dissatisfaction with respect to the projected imposition of utility bills on students as from next academic year; and further plead the powers of your office as to overturn that impending inconvenience.
Credible information from the Students Representative Council indicate that, pending the outcome of the next council meeting slated for 30th June, 2016, students of this institution are likely to pay Utility bills as from next academic year. There is also the certainty that should the government remain adamant in responding to the University’s management on issues regarding Utility bills, students shall be compelled to pay the following respective amounts as utility bills for the 2016/2017 academic year.
Resident Students- GH₵ 2,326.20
Non-Resident Students- GH₵ 920.88
Sir, we would like to humbly remind you of the perennial hardship that the average student of the University Of Ghana goes through to pay school fees and residential charges.
In addition to the annual increment of our fees, cost of living on campus is overwhelmingly expensive, and coming by a three-square meal is almost an impossibility for the average student. We wish to indicate that even though students bargained for a 70:30 percentage modality for the payment of tuition fees last academic year as a means of relative convenience; some students still had to defer their entire academic programme due to the perpetual hurdle of financial constraints.
It stands to reason from the above that students face a huge challenge financially, and hence the imposition of utility bills will only serve as a policy which will defray our academic pursuits here in this institution.
In the exercise of utmost convenience therefore, we propose the following:
That you advocate for students not to be billed with utilities during the upcoming University Council meeting scheduled for 30th June, 2016.
That the University devised other alternatives in settling the utility bills without the inclusion of students. In conclusion, we wish to state unequivocally that STUDENTS CANNOT PAY UTILITY BILLS as from next academic year and as such we plead your absolute consideration in that matter. We are hoping to hear from you soon. Thank You.
Ayirebi-Acquah D. Schandorf (0273141821)
Julius Jayson (0553014755)
Daniel Otting Awuah (0540902132)
Afful Kwaku Appiah (0268981519)