The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to move a motion that will disallow the payment of fees for fresh and continuing students in tertiary institutions in the country for the 2021 academic year.
In his petition, the MP is seeking prior legislative approval pursuant to Order 50 (1) to have the fees halted as a result of the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Citing the loss of jobs and economic instability brought on by the pandemic, the legislator who described his petition as a “condition of urgent public importance”, expressed worry over the decision by tertiary institutions to have both freshly admitted and continuing students pay their fees before they are allowed to access teaching and learning facilities for the academic year.
“This is important to the public because many people have lost their jobs due to the economic consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19, which has necessitated government granting subsidies in the provision of water and electricity. The hospitality sector has been hard hit. Workers of private schools in the education sector have not earned income in close to a year. Border towns like Bawku have suffered economically from the restrictions in cross-border movement and trading. Most parents and students have not been able to work to save funds to be able to pay fees. Remittances from abroad have drastically shrunk. The banking crisis caused many jobs to be lost”, portions of the petition read.
The Bawku Central MP argued that essential components of the public tertiary institutions can function without many of the fees and charges requested from students in L.I. 2386.
He proposed that student bursaries will only kick in to support students only after they have been able to pay admission fees and entered the universities.
Mahama Ayariga is therefore requesting that the Speaker grants the motion to have the payment of fees put on hold in order to ease the financial obligations of parents adding that “Order 50 (3) – The application of the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Instrument, 2019 (LI 2386), being a financial legislation, can only be suspended by an amendment introduced on behalf of the President.”