Purveyors of free SHS kicked against absorption of tertiary fees?- Mogatri asks

Joyce Bawah Mogtari, an aide to Former President John Dramani Mahama has asked why proponent of free senior high school (SHS) will kick against a motion to extend Covid-19 relief to tertiary students by government absorbing their fees.

On Thursday January 29, the Education Minister-designate, Yaw Osei Adutwum, called for Mahama Ayariga’s motion to have tertiary fees for 2021 absorbed, to be rejected.

He argued on the floor of parliament that the motion had not demonstrated that students haven’t been able to pay their fees and are walking on the streets.

He claimed he had spoken to Vice Chancellors who told him absorbing fees of students isn’t a priority need.

He claimed again that 70% of students who gained admission to the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) had already paid their fees and are in school, so he didn’t know what fees Mahama Ayariga wanted the government to absorb.

Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, also argued that Mahama Ayariga’s motion was discriminatory and in breach of Article 17 of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992.

He questioned why fees of public universities students will be absorbed and that of private schools won’t.

Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, as well as other members of the minority side reminded Oppong Nkrumah that the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) flagship Free Senior High School does not cover private SHS.

They asked if Oppong Nkrumah is suggesting that the FSHS unconstitutional?

The Speaker, Alban Bagbin in his ruling on the matter, said the motion has been rejected.

Commenting on this development in a tweet, Joyce Bawah Mogtari said “When purveyors of free SHS, after an election, suddenly make a U turn and vote against a request to extend Covid-19 relief to Tertiary Students unable to pay fees…”

https://twitter.com/joyce_bawah/status/1355063699619377157?s=20

Mr Ayariga expressed disappointment over the rejection of the motion.

 “There was no need to call for division because we sit on both sides. You could see that they [Majority] were absolutely more than us.

“The issue was that even the Speaker realized that the Minority members were not in the house in their numbers because of the new policy that all of us should not come to the chamber at the same time.”

“You could see from the chamber that the NDC members were not many, so the Speaker even considered deferring the vote on the matter to the following days that when everyone is in the chamber, we can vote. But the Majority Leader raised objections to that and the Speaker then decided to allow that and clearly because they were many- through the voice votes they carried the day”, he told Citi FM after proceedings.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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