The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Ghana, Legon, has rejected a proposal made by the management of the university to introduce what has come to be christened ‘School Feeding Programme’ in its halls of residence.
The proposal was expected to gain meaning at the beginning of this academic year.
Students of the premier university are opposed to this meal plan, in view of the financial status of most of the students, juxtaposed with the supposed ulterior motive of the university to extort money from the students.
Many were even wondering how they could manage to pay their fees, as the fees had been increased, tied to other facility user fees they had to pay.
The President of the university’s SRC, Edem Agbana, in an interview with The Chronicle, stated that his outfit, having considered the fact that there were different classes of students with different financial backgrounds in the school and that those from the average and low income homes had to be taken into account, decided to take that decision.
Though he confessed that he disagreed with management on a number of issues, he applauded them for accepting the plea of students to enable them pay their fees in two installments, with, at least, fifty percent paid at the beginning of the first semester, and the remainder at the beginning of the second semester of each academic year.
Touching on the issue of the 2013/2014 admissions, Mr. Agbana asserted that the university would not overburden itself in the enrolment of students, and that the lecturer-student ratio was essential in promoting an effective academic environment for students, a view the Vice Chancellor of the university also shared.
This came to light when he was posed the question of how the university would deal with the enrolment of the two batches that wrote this year’s West African Senior High School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). “The fact that two batches wrote this year’s WASSCE does not mean the university would have to expand its infrastructure to contain them,” he said.
To the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, as many students as possible would be admitted. This, he said, would be done in connection with the capacity of the lecture theatres and the halls of residence. “The number to be admitted would be based on those the lecture theatres and the halls of residence can absorb,” he stated.
Though, according to him, there would be a marginal increase in the numerical strength of this year’s admissions, he appealed to government to give the needed assistance and support to private universities, as it does to the public ones, to enable them absorb qualified students who might not be able to gain admission into any of the public universities.
Professor Aryeetey, on the issue of the meal plan, stated that they had not cancelled it entirely, but that it had been deferred for now, which the executives of the SRC, he said, had associated themselves with. “We have decided to defer the meal plan, which students have chosen to call school feeding programme, for now.
The initial intention was to start the programme this year, but since the students are complaining, which we have listened to because students are of different financial status, we will wait for some time,” he noted.