Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa with leaders of PUSAG after receiving the petition
The Private Universities Students Association (PUSAG) has called for the revision of some government policies and regulations which it described as discriminatory and unfavorable.
PUSAG has called for 15 per cent reduction in corporate taxes paid by private universities and that 30 per cent of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) should be allocated to private colleges.
They also appealed to government to grant institutions that have been accredited 10 years and more autonomy to award their respective degrees and diploma certificates.
Executives of the association, in a petition to the President, Education Minister and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, said the implementation of alternative procedures and policies would lessen administrative and tuition cost for students.
Panlogo-Logodam Benjamin, president of the association, presenting a petition in Accra to Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, Deputy Education Minister, stated that students in private institutions pay taxes to resource GETFUND, but do not benefit.
They said some resources should be allocated to the development of their institutions.
He said government’s decision to impose 25% corporate tax on private institutions amounts to double taxation, as students in private institutions pay taxes indirectly to government.
He indicated that such a policy thwarts the efforts of their institutions in putting in place requisite infrastructure to provide quality education.
‘Government is taxing private university students and their families, and also taxing universities that are providing quality education to students. This naturally increases the cost of providing education to the youth. It reduces funds available for building campuses, purchasing equipment and awarding scholarships,’ he said.
Mr. Panlogo-Logodam added that tuition fees of students would continue to increase if private universities remain affiliated to traditional universities.
‘We are calling for fair treatment of private universities. We are seeking equal rights and access to the public purse now. The unfair and discriminatory practices are becoming unbearable. We have therefore decided to speak up and make our voices heard,’ PUSAG said.
Mr Ablakwa gave the assurance that government would submit a written response in a week’s time.
He said some of the issues raised were already receiving attention.
BY Ernest Nutsugah
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