Legon tolls saga: Parents petition Education Minister
Parents of pupils of the University of Ghana Basic Schools (UGBS), which is managed by the University of Ghana, Legon, have petitioned the Minister of Education, Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, to “restrain” the university authorities from charging them the controversial road tolls.
At a press conference on Tuesday May 13, 2014, the “Concerned Parents of Non-Staff Pupils of University of Ghana Basic Schools” called for an end to what they described as “discriminatory fees” just for alighting and picking their children from the UGBS premises.
The aggrieved parents insist the best interest of their children was not considered by the university authorities before implementing the policy to charge them GH¢400.00 every year.
The University of Ghana authorities earlier this year begun charging tolls for unlimited access to university campuses.
Reasons given for tolling access routes to the university campuses include the need to check the routes as thoroughfare and need to service a GH¢1.3 million loan used to rehabilitate roads.
However, since the decision to charge the tolls, the university has come under stern public criticism.
Last week, the concerned parents clashed with university security personnel at the Boundary gate end of the school, close to the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), after they were prevented from driving through the gate to drop off their children.
The security personnel had been ordered not to allow cars without approved University of Ghana stickers from entering the campus.
In protest against the orders given by the authorities of the University, some parents blocked the access road with their cars to prevent other vehicles from moving through the gates.
Although the university does not charge tolls for vehicles accessing the campus through the Okponglo intersection gate, some parents say that gate is too far from their usual routes.
Tuesday’s press conference, which was a follow up from last week’s events, was also used by the parents to plead with the university authorities to “consider and grant [pupils] the recognition as members of the University Community for the period of their academic life on Campus.”
Other suggestions by the concerned parents include:
– Instead of a UG Sticker, the authorities should consider issuing each child at the UGBS with an identification card (Pass) specially designed by the University and at the expense of the non-staff parent to facilitate the entry and exit of the child accompanied by the parent or a responsible adult at any of the gates on Campus.
– Non-Staff Parents are prepared and willing to contribute to the cost of implementing the proposed ID system by paying up to the equivalent of the 25% of the cost of the one year sticker per parent, which translates to GH¢100.00 annually.
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