Parents of pupils of the University Basic School at the University of Ghana, Legon, yesterday protested against a new restriction barring them from driving to campus to drop and pick their children.
It was an unusual protest as the aggrieved parents blocked the entrance at the GIMPA end of the tertiary institution thus preventing other motorists from making their way to the campus and even exiting the place.
The new directive requires that only vehicles with car stickers drive in and out of the campus; an arrangement which the protesting parents considered not only inconvenient.
Not even a plea by the university authorities to the irate parents through a directive to the security personnel manning the gate to allow them drive in could placate them.
They said they were seeking a lasting solution to the problem.
For them, the directive was only an ad-hoc arrangement which they regarded as unacceptable.
The payment of an annual private car sticker fee of GH¢400, alongside other school monetary commitments such as fees and others, seemed rather outrageous for the parents.
They feared that if the practice is not checked parents will have to pay for multiple car stickers in case others have to pick the kids on their behalf.
The University of Ghana (UG) Basic School Parents/Teachers Association (PTA), Deputy Chairman Rev. Acheampong Yiadom Boakye, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE, said the association is unhappy with the fact that parents have to struggle to each day to drop their children at the gate and continue the rest of the journey on foot.
Rev. Acheampong Yiadom Boakye added that the contributions of parents by way of payment of school fees as compared to the University staff each year amounted to GH¢90,000 and GH¢20,000 respectively enough evidence that the role of the former cannot be overlooked.
He said the association, on February 19, 2014, mandated an eight-member committee to present a petition to management of the University requesting recognition and equal treatment but no action was taken.
The authorities, in reaction, described the petition as an embarrassment to them demanding that parents retract same and apologise.
The Acting Commander of the Greater Accra Regional Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police, DSP Addae and his team, who were present at the scene, urged the parents to clear their cars for free flow of traffic while awaiting the reaction of the university authorities.
The premier university was in the news recently when its authorities imposed tolls on road users within the tertiary institution.
Government ordered the government to stop the implementation of the policy but not before the national security coordinator had the booth on the Okponglo section demolished.
The uproar which followed became a subject of public discourse in the media.
By Solomon Ofori
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