The NPP Caucus in Parliament is opposing a motion by Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga seeking that the House causes the President to suspend the payment of admission fees by students in tertiary institutions.
Leader of the NPP Caucus, Kyei Mensah Bonsu in Parliament said the plethora of fees brought to their attention cannot be admission fees.
Also speaking in Parliament, the Majority Chief Whip said that he has made checks in schools who have told them there is no such thing as admission fees but rather a user fee.
“This motion is flawed and incompetent,” Frank Annor Dompreh said urging the Speaker to dismiss it.
Also in Parliament, former Education Minister Matthew Opoku Prempeh stated that the House approved of the substantive fees for the institutions.
“If you think this House has approved something that was wrongly done, you come with a motion of petition that since the house approved the subsidiary legislation we can change it by voting with two-third members of Parliament to withdraw that approval,” he said.
He stated that the “President has no power” to overturn something the House has already voted on.
Mr Prempeh added that Mr Mahama included other fees such as SRC dues decided on by students themselves in his “incompetent” petition.
The Bawku Central MP had earlier petitioned Speaker Alban Bagbin to request prior approval to move a motion for the suspension of the payment of admission fees for tertiary students in the 2020/21 academic year.
Mahama Ayariga premised the urgency for the motion on the recent reopening of schools where students who have gained admission are requested to make payments before they are admitted.
He said the development is rather worrying considering the fact that the country is still trying to recover from a pandemic which has had adverse effects on the economic activities of citizens.
Speaking in Parliament he stated that with the borders closed many parents especially ones at the borders are still struggling to make ends meet.
“These basic schools have been shut down and assuming that of the 20,000 schools, each school has a basic labour source of 12 teachers and caterers you multiply that by the 20,000 and you can see the number of families that have been deprived of income withing the last monsths
He admitted that government has tried its best to support many households and businesses since the pandemic hit the country.
However, he believes many families are still struggling and thus cannot afford the fees they are being asked to pay.
“There are those who have argued that three is a scholarship grant to be applied for by the student from the Student Loan Trust. I have checked with them and they give on average about ¢2500, the minimum is ¢1500 the maximum ¢3000.”
“But the argument I made is that you can only apply for it after you are already in the school, and the Trust doesn’t work such that before you get to the school with your admission letter you are able to go and access that fund.”