Hon Mahama Ayariga has moved to ensure accountability in the fixing of fees and charges by public universities and senior high schools (SHS) in Ghana by demanding that they should be brought to Parliament for approval pursuant to the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793).
The Minister for Education has given assurance that he will ensure that public universities in Ghana and other public educational institutions under the Ministry of Education present their proposed school fees to Parliament for approval under the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (Act 793). This is in response to a Parliamentary Question standing in the name of Hon Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central Constituency. Hon Mahama Ayariga asked the Minister for Education “what urgent steps the Ministry would take to bring the fees and charges of public universities and senior high schools for approval by Parliament”.
Hon Mahama Ayariga has raised the issue of fees and charges imposed on students by public schools noting that the fees are illegal because they have not been approved by Parliament. All fees of public educational institutions must by law be approved by Parliament. This will provide an opportunity to interrogate the need for those fees and the appropriateness of the amount.
Due to years of not paying attention, university fees and charges have remained unsupervised and some institutions have abused the process to a point where many students cannot cope. Many universities will have a hard time defending some of the fee and charges imposed on students. Students are reeling under heavy fees and charges ranging from fees to the main administration to those for faculty and halls of residence etc.
Once universities start submitting their proposed fees to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee chaired by Hon Mahama Ayariga for review and recommendations to Parliament for approval it is hoped that MPs will have an opportunity to act as a check on the practices of the universities in fee fixing. Greater accountability will emerge and it is hoped that there will be a reduction.
Hon Mahama Ayariga has served notice that he will move to restrain universities from taking any money from students in the ensuing academic year if Government does not use this window of opportunity to bring the proposed fees for approval for the 2017/18 academic year. If the Minister fulfills his promise a potential legal showdown in court could be averted.