Provide adequate educational facilities – MP to govt

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Members of Parliament in Ghana’s Parliament have raised concerns over the extreme difficulties parents and guardians have to go through in search for accommodation for their children at the various campuses of the country’s public universities.

Contributing to a statement made on the Floor of Parliament on Thursday, January 27, 2022 by the MP for New Edubiase, Abdul-Salam Adams on the challenges of finding accommodation for students on campus, the MPs let out their frustration at the situation which is gradually getting worse.

They narrated personal experiences of frustrations in their quest to secure residential accommodation on campus as parents and representatives of their constituents who have had admission to these public universities dotted around the country. He urged the government to put in measures to increase the facilities of accommodation on campus and also ensure equal access to all students with admission.

“Mr. Speaker, as enrolment increases in our public institutions, the only logical thing for the Government to do is to provide adequate facilities to accommodate the growing student population. Mr. Speaker, the Government must also enhance the Build-Operate and Transfer concept as it pertains in some public universities.

“This will serve as an incentive to encourage the private sector in helping to solve the accommodation crisis. Mr. Speaker, when accommodation facilities are expanded the Government through university councils, must put measures to curtail the rise in illegal selling of beds in our public universities.”

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Committee on Education, Peter Kwasi Nortsu-Kotoe, said on his part that, the country has not been progressive enough over the years to ensure that the existing accommodation is expanded at least every year. But have rather left it in the hands of private people who charge exorbitant fees.

He also bemoaned the fact that there were a number of abandoned residential accommodation facilities in the various universities which could have alleviated the plight of these students if it had been completed.

He said, “If Government through the GETFund should release money regularly to the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, I am sure these facilities would have been completed and made available to students, especially the first-year students.”

The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, who is a former lecturer at the University of Ghana also narrated how difficult it was for him to secure accommodation for his own children.

He blamed the situation on poor planning and inadequate funding of tertiary education, which did not make enough provision for capital expenditure. As a result, the expansion of academic and residential facilities is not keeping pace with the enrolment of students. Meanwhile, the second cohorts of the free SHS products are entering the universities thereby swelling the numbers who require accommodation.

However, in a response the Minister for Education and Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum observed that, the situation confronting many of the universities is either limited supply of facilities or management problem.

He was of the view that the online application system should make it easy for the authorities to ensure adequate arrangements are made for students to get accommodation ahead of time.

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