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 » Ghanian Contents Only » Ghana News Achieve » 

Students give gov’t 48hr ultimatum to withdraw utility bills

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chinesta10

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Students in tertiary institutions have given the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government 48 hours to withdraw plans to charge them utility tariffs.



The students are threatening to stage a string of demonstrations staring next week if the John Mahama-led administration fails to meet their demands.

Government officials have served notice that students in public tertiary institutions will now have to pay their own utility bills as an alternative means to tackle increasing utility debts in public universities.

But the leadership of the various public universities at a news conference in Kumasi warned government should rescind its decision or face their wrath.

Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT BY THE COALITION OF STUDENTS AGAINST GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO PUSH THE COST OF UTILITY BILLS ON STUDENTS

The Students of Ghana appropriately extend warmest appreciation to you our friends in the media for joining us today. We cannot be more appreciative to those who have concerned themselves to these times that our education is being threatened and the prospects of young people guaranteed by Tertiary Education is about being collapsed for the single inordinate policy choice of a Government that purports to trumpet a social democratic agenda. I accordingly welcome you student leaders herein gathered for mastering the courage of justice and truth and assembling here with this impressive numbers to support this noble cause especially for those within our ranks who by the sheer ineptitude of this Government policy would abort their programs of studies.

Ladies and gentlemen, on the 25th of March, the Government of Ghana convened a certain stakeholder’s consultation following series of hints that this Government harboured objectives of failing on its mandate ushered by the ‘1998 Cost- Sharing Educational policy’ which we have come to popularly call the Akosombo Accord. This policy (which has travelled close to two decades) framed the current arrangement of the components of the cost of education that must be split and subsequently shouldered by the individual and the government. Following the Stakeholder’s forum, Government skilfully championed its agenda through the vehicle of a certain Stakeholder’s communiqué that leaves more questions than answers clearly with an attempt to force the cost payment of Utility bills at the blind side of students.

Ladies and Gentlemen, following public students’ outcry over the clandestine attempt by the Government of the day, to defer its responsibility to the already burdened students, the Ministry of Education has attempted to suggest that this policy is only under consideration. Unfortunately for the Ministry of Education in its spin business, the Universities across this country are processing the fees of students for the next academic year and this includes the cost of utility bills for the next academic year and this is outrageously being pegged at an average of GH¢550 per student across Tertiary Institutions.

This therefore suggests that the cost of Education especially for the fees paid by tertiary Students for the next academic year would increase approximately by GH¢550. An incident with enough potency to force several of our ranks out of school and definitely out of their career paths.

We the Coalition of Students and Student Leaders by this Press Conference oppose vehemently this ill thought through Government policy and our established resolution is grounded firmly on the following pillars.

1. That the government of Ghana has failed on its pledge to cushion education of its citizens by bearing the cost of Utility bills and the results of the Government of Ghana’s financial indiscipline shall not be the latent drive of the government to pass on its social compact expectations on its citizens. We are reminded that at this same time that Government has and is still failing to carry out its mandate to the tertiary student, reports suggests increasing waste of expenditure in the use of the public purse in several government engagements. We recommend that close monitoring of government expenditure and a war of corruption would save enough for the public purse to be used in paying for Utility bills at our tertiary institutions.

2. We would resist any attempt by Government to force the hands of students to bear the arrears of Utility bills owed by the Universities as a consequence of the failure of government of Ghana to exercise its responsibilities.

3. That the failures of the University officials and government agencies to ensure the prudency of the use of electricity by some students shall not be the burden of the several innocent students

4. That Government of Ghana has failed according to page 19 of the its own 2012 manifesto to ensure upgrade and construction of Residential Facilities in existing public institutions cannot support the weak proposition of government to place students into sections of those housed in Halls and those in Private hostels. The students in the private hostels who form a constituent of the several SRC’s we head as student leaders don’t have any challenge with students leaving in University Residential accommodations not paying for Utility bills. The Government of Ghana has a more honourable equity call to achieve by building more Halls for all students to have access in these Halls of Residence on our various campuses and not by charging all students Utility Bills.

5. We the students of the coalition mandated by the popular will of the students of Ghana are clearly aware of the failure of the Government to credit the account of GETFUND with its full statutory payments. Logically, it is pathetic how expenditure in education is decreasing but the government of Ghana still does not have enough funds to finance its historical responsibilities for the Tertiary students.

The way forward

1. As a fact of passionate action we declare officially the education red alert crusade. Every student of Ghana must identify with something red to register our displeasure until the Government calls off this sickening policy.

2. We would in the coming days organize mass student rallies across the country to press home our demand.

3. That the single event of Government closing its ears, establishes a point for a nationwide call for Tertiary students to push out this government in the coming 2016 elections.

4. We are embarking on mass media campaigns to ensure that the government does what is right.

5. We request an official correspondence from the office of the President and the Ministry of Education recalling this policy and stating clearly that Tertiary students would not bear cost of utility bills.

We thank you all for your patience and granting us some audience. This country would live on, leaders are temporary but the country’s destiny must be safeguarded. Education would not be sacrificed for political convenience. We thank you and God bless us all.

SIGNED

DUKE AARON SASU (SRC PRESIDENT- KNUST)

OTENG AMPONSAH ENOCK (SRC PRESIDENT-UMaT)

EVELYN D. SAPPOR (LOCAL NUGS PRESIDENT-KNUST)

ANDREWS AMPONSAH (SRC PRESIDENT, UEW-KUMASI)

MICHAEL KWADWO NKETIAH (STUDENTS ACTIVIST AND CONVENOR)

Source : GhanaWeb



Last edited by chinesta10 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typographical error)

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PhAnt0m

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I find it hard to believe that these politicians are joking with everything, Most revolution started  by student unions more than any othe reasons or unions, The Ndc will never learn , its seems making life difficult for Ghanians is the only thing they know doing, As if dumsor situation is over. Now student allowances have been canceled and they also have to pay electricity bails, what the hell is going on? All this politician benefited from this scheme and today because hey hold offices and positions, they neglect the core future of Ghanians , that is education and students. God help us.

I like the letter , its simple and also outline the major challenges facing student in Ghana today. Anyone who read this news will find it hard even to believe what these politician are doing in modern day Ghana.

We warned Ndc not to go to the IMF... this is a typical doing of IMF. Making laws and rules for government to follow And in all the people who suffers not the politicians who pockets our taxes, THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING..THERE IS MORE TO COME

Do you know that every mister and state officials get ENGRACIA of over 4.5 billion cides after for just 4 years in office.. Stupid politician and stupid speechless people of Ghana , who are even afraid to stand up and do the right things. How much does a teacher who have thought for 30 -40 years get for pension, about 250 million old cides.... FOOD FOR THOUGHT



Last edited by phAnt0m DrAcON on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total


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chinesta10

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Hmmm... This is very interesting.... Sacrificing education for political convenience is really pathetic... This Government of Ghana has made so many promises and has failed soo many of them as well.... Its really hard to learn that as a result of the Government's financial indiscipline, it has gone back on its promise to bear utility bills of citizens and has decided to pass onto us the citizens....Its really bad...

In light of the corruptions that has soaked the country up, its quite hard to also learn that the Government is trying to use payment of utility bills to make up their irresponsible acts, to try to creat some level of balance.... Its just not right and fair to the poor student who doesn't have enough to take care of him/herself let alone pay fees...

Its just not fair for someone living in a private hostel to pay utility bills the same as someone in the university's hostel when we know perfectly that those private hostels charge so much as compared to that of the university hostels but yet they are all students of the same University... Instead of accomplishing what they have promised, that they would build more University hostels, they are rather kind of extorting money from students for their own personal gains...

And @phAnt0m... I never knew that every minister and state official gets ENGRACIA of over 4.5 billion cedis for just after 4 years in office.... This is really bad.. Someone will dedicate his life to teach you to become great in future but yet after, they just get paid 250  million old cedis only for a minister and Head of state to take them all just after four years of Good/BAD service....

If the president still believes that "OUR YOUTH ARE NOT ONLY OUR FUTURE but ALSO OUR PRESENT", then i have to say that if nothing urgent is done presently there wont be any future..... GOD help us  ...I just fear for the future Ghana and Ghanaians which am part of...



Last edited by chinesta10 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Typographical error)

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WhIPL4$h

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Hmmm. I'm even sick and tired of this Godforsaken government of ours. What at all do they want to achieve? Consider the following:

1. Some Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) in fact overspent their budget by up to 400 % last year alone.

2. Several of government's social interventions have rather resulted in loss of the taxpayers' money. I need not mention the good old GYEEDA, SADA, NYEP etc. Those responsible have mostly been rather rewarded than punished.

3. Several millions of dollars have been spent in the name tackling the power crisis. But what do we see today?

All these point to one of two things. Either those at the helm of affairs are utterly confused or are very wicked and selfish. None of these is good for Ghana.

To the substantive issue. .....Personally I think that students generally abuse the free electricity and water provision on campus and their various halls of residence. However, there is absolutely no justification whatsoever to pass utility bills on to them. There should be a better alternative. Education on energy conservation for instance is an option.

I don't want to hear the " there's no money" excuse. Simply because there's a lot of money in the system. They should rather focus on plugging the holes and fixing the problem in the economy. Then, and only then would the people be empowered enough to stand on the own.

Leave the students alone!!!


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Dagobert

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I actually lost my temper on an NDC activist who sat at a radio station and tried defending this new "Suffering " by saying that it's a step to curb the wastages in our tertiary institutions. This is the most "Stupid " reason I have heard for a while. In our current ssituation, the government is virtually playing with every aspect o. this economy and there's nothing we can do about it. This goes a long way show how important our votes are for Ghanaians.
Am surprised that guardians are leaving this fight for the students when actually the cost will be on them. We don't have a future with such policies being enacted day in day out. It's a shame Mad


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Source: citifmonline

A Deputy Minister of Education in charge of tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah has rejected claims that government will make students of tertiary institutions pay their own utility bills. Mr Ablakwa disclosed this in an interview with Citi News on the sidelines of the Campus Connect program in Accra on Wednesday.



The Deputy Minister called for calm at the various tertiary institutions saying government is yet to take a decision on the matter based on the UPSA declaration. The UPSA declaration provided a roadmap for cost sharing between the government and tertiary institutions for the payment of utility bills. The declaration also sought to make students in tertiary institutions pay utility fees. University students across the country are up in arms against government over a decision to make them pay their utility bills. Mr Ablakwa maintained that “the UPSA declaration remains the recommendation from stakeholders. As it is now those are recommendations. Government is yet to consider those recommendations contained in the UPSA declaration. The status quo remains. It is important that all our stakeholders remain calm until such a time that Government considers the recommendation that have come from the UPSA dialogue on utilities. Cabinet is yet to consider the UPSA declaration so there is no basis of agitation at this point.”

WHEN WILL THE UPSA DECLARATION BE IMPLEMENTED?

Answering a question on when the recommendations will be implemented the Deputy Minister of Education called for patience since the report is yet to be taken to cabinet for deliberations.
He further explained that “for now everything is possible, because the ministry of Education does not control the Government`s timetable. We do not know if when the report and the declaration will be tabled at cabinet for consideration. And what will be the outcome. So there is no need for anybody to rush to any conclusion at this time point in time. We need to wait for Governments position.”

THE UPSA DECLARATION

Representatives of major stakeholders in tertiary education in Ghana, suppliers of public utilities and allied institutions met at the auditorium of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), at the instance of the Ministry of Education, on 25th March, 2015 to:
Discuss strategies for sustainable consumption of utilities in tertiary education institutions;
Craft innovative alternative means of providing utilities in tertiary education institutions; and
Make recommendations to inform Government policy regarding the utilization of utilities in tertiary education institutions.

PARTICIPANTS

The stakeholders who participated in the meeting were the National Council for Tertiary Education, the Vice-Chancellors Ghana, the Committee of Polytechnic Rectors, the Conference of Principals of Colleges of Education, the National Accreditation Board, the University Teachers Association of Ghana, Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana, the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate Students Association of Ghana, the National Union of Ghana Students, the Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, the Ghana Education Service, the Council for Vocational and Technical Education, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Energy Commission, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, the Concerned Teachers Association of Ghana and Controller, and Accountant General’s Department.

OBSERVATIONS

Stakeholders assessed different perspectives on utilization and management of utilities in tertiary education institutions and observed that:


Different electrical appliances used by students in tertiary education institutions and the manner by which these appliances are used contribute to wastage in the use of electricity in tertiary education institutions.
There is need to reduce wastage in the use of utilities and ensure sustainable use of water and electricity in public tertiary education institution.

Electricity and water are used in academic, administrative, health, commercialized and residential facilities in tertiary education institutions. Thus, there is the need for the application of a metering system that differentiates the various users of utilities, to make users of utilities in residential facilities responsible for the payment of tariffs charged on the use of utilities.

Energy Commission’s recommended standards on electrical appliances have not been applied and enforced in tertiary education institutions to foster the conservation of electricity.

In spite of the rapidly increasing cost of utilities in tertiary education institutions resulting from expansion in enrollments and consequently the growth in the volume of activities performed by public tertiary education institutions. The Government of Ghana has been solely responsible for the payment of tariffs on utilities in public tertiary education institutions. Government’s sole responsibility for the payment of the cost of utilities used in tertiary education institutions is not sustainable.

Alternative sources of water and electricity such as rain and underground water, as well as bio-gas and solar energy have not been exploited to supplement traditional sources of supply of water and electricity.
Modern technologies in lighting and management of electricity and water have not been applied extensively to reduce the consumption of utilities in tertiary education institutions. Such technologies may include the LED lamps and motion sensors.

There is limited research on alternative sources of supply of electricity and water in public tertiary education institutions.
Students and staff have not been educated adequately on the efficient use of utilities.
Generally, policies and regulations on the use of utilities are lacking in public tertiary education institutions.

DECLARATION

In view of the foregoing, we afore-named stakeholders in public tertiary education in Ghana jointly declare that:

COST SHARING

The cost of utilities in public tertiary education institutions should be shared between the Government , tertiary education institutions , staff , students as follows
Government: Government should bear the cost of utilities supplied to academic, (teaching and learning, research and facilities) health and administrative facilities in public tertiary education institutions.

3. Students: Students on campus should bear the cost of utilities in students’ residential facilities especially as more than 70% of students currently live in private hostels off campus and pay for their utilities thus creating an unfair arrangement where Government subsidies benefit only the 30% minority.

4. Tertiary Education Institutions: Tertiary education institutions should pay the cost of utilities supplied to commercialised units such as guest houses, restaurants, printing presses and commercial agricultural products processing units and etc.

5. Staff: Staff occupying residential facilities owned by public tertiary education institutions should continue to bear the cost of utilities supplied to those facilities.
In view of the above, different metering systems should be applied to segregate different users of utilities in tertiary education institutions.

EXPLOITATION OF ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY

Tertiary education institutions should contribute to finding solutions to the endemic water and electricity supply challenges facing the nation by devoting part of their resources to research and development in alternative sources of electricity and water supply.
Alternative sources of water and electricity such as rain and underground water, bio-gas and solar energy should be exploited to supplement traditional sources of supply of water and electricity in tertiary education institutions.

MANAGEMENT OF UTILITIES

Modern technologies in lighting and management of electricity and water should be adopted to improve the efficiency with which utilities are utilized in tertiary education institutions.
Policies and regulations on the use of utilities should be developed to guide the use of utilities in tertiary education institutions.

Task forces should be set up in tertiary education institutions to educate students and staff on efficient use of utilities and enforce policies and regulations on the use of utilities.
Energy Commission’s recommendations on standards on electrical appliances should be adopted and enforced in tertiary education institutions to foster the conservation of electricity.


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PhAnt0m

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Absolute rubbish, look at how they have constructed this letter to win Ghanians heart, i just hope they gather that same courage and write on how to eliminated Engracia payment of 4.5 billion old cides each that parliamentarian take, at least totaling about 260 billion old Ghana cides , just 40% of that money can solve the utility bails and allowances of students....

They should look within themselves first and make such rule for parliamentarians the pan out all the nonsense of setting, transport and committee fee at Parliament, and maybe, just maybe. they can start taking about the poor students who will be payed Engracia of 4.5 billion after for years of education. Nkwasiasem nkoaa


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