Parents of pupils and students of the University Basic and Junior High School yesterday staged a demonstration in protest against the insistence by the authorities of the University of Ghana (UG) that the parents acquire UG stickers before they can drive to the campus.
The parents complained that the GH¢400 being demanded by the university for a sticker to give the buyer access to the university’s roads for a year was too exorbitant and asked the university to reduce it drastically.
To register their displeasure, some of the aggrieved parents blocked the access road with their vehicles to prevent other vehicles from entering the campus.
The situation led to a scuffle between the parents and the security personnel at the Link Gate end of the university, close to the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
Some eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily Graphic said the parents prevented vehicles from entering or leaving the university from that end, resulting in a huge vehicular traffic.
The parents vowed not to leave the scene until they had taken their children to their school.
Even though the university provided a shuttle to convey the pupils and students to the school from the entrance, the parents insisted on taking them in by themselves, citing fear for the safety of the children.
The aggrieved parents vowed to constantly block the road until the university authorities rescinded their decision to get them to buy the UG 2014 sticker.
Some parents also stated that they were not prepared to pay anything more than GHc100 per year.
Conspicuously displayed at the Link Gate end of the university is a notice that read: “No UG sticker, No entry” and “No UG sticker, No exit”.
The University of Ghana restricted vehicular entry to and from the university campus to only those with the university stickers from Saturday, March 15, 2014.
The decision by the university elicited varied reactions from the public, the government, Parliament and some civil society groups. PTA
In an interview, the Vice-Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school, Rev Acheampong Yiadom-Boakye, described the incident as worrying, since most of the parents had to leave their work because of the situation.
He indicated that the parents were not happy with the situation, which had resulted in much agitation among them.
He said the PTA met with the school board yesterday to register parents’ discontent with the condition, adding that all their pleas were rejected by the school authorities. Parents’ demand
According to him, the parents demanded that the amount charged for the sticker per year be reduced, as they were not prepared to pay.
Rev Yiadom-Boakye said the parents also argued that instead of the use of the UG 2014 sticker, the authorities should devise a better means other than the sticker to allow them entry to the campus.
He, however, stated that he was optimistic that something positive could come out of the meeting, noting that the authorities had approached the issue from a positive perspective.
“The school board has assured us that it is prepared to listen to us and has advised us to officially write a letter to the registry of the university to have a meeting with the authorities,” he added. Distressed parents
Meanwhile, some of the parents who spoke to the Daily Graphic expressed disagreement with the Legon authorities, claiming that they were being cheated.
“They want to suppress us. Is it right to demand such amounts from us? What have we done to deserve this treatment?” a distressed parent asked.
One parent who could not hide her feelings said, “I will make sure I withdraw my children from the school. After all, this is not the only school around.”
“Why must I pay for the roads that the university has constructed? Is that my responsibility after paying my children’s school fees?” she asked. Daily Graphic visit
When the Daily Graphic visited the Link Gate around 3 p.m., calm had been restored, but there was heavy security presence at the gate to ensure uninterrupted flow of traffic.
A towing vehicle meant to tow the cars of parents who might not want to comply with the directive was also spotted at the scene.
Some of the schoolchildren walked about 800 meters from their school to board vehicles home at the GIMPA Junction.
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