General News of Monday, 7 August 2017
The Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, Mr Mahama Ayariga, has threatened to go to court to compel public universities, polytechnics and nursing training colleges to legalise their school fees.
He said the current fees charged by the public tertiary institutions were illegal since they had not been approved by Parliament in compliance with the Fees and Charges Act.
Mr Ayariga told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that per the Act, public tertiary institutions were supposed to present their fees to Parliament in a form of a Legislative Instrument (LI) every year for consideration and approval.
He said the LIs take 21 days mature.
Fees and Charges Act
The Fees and Charges Act 2009 (Act 793) had not been followed by heads of tertiary institutions who had resorted to fixing fees and other levies without recourse to the law.
The Act, which was amended by a Legislative Instrument (LI2228), 2016 seeks to safeguard the public against arbitrary and haphazard charging and levying of students by universities.
However, Mr Ayariga said since the passage of the Act several years ago, only the Wa Polytechnic had brought its fees once to Parliament for approval.
Therefore, he said, the current fees charged by the public universities were illegal.
Mr Ayariga, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, said he was pursuing the case in court as a citizen to get the court to compel public tertiary institutions to legalise their fess.
He dismissed the suggestion that the court process might affect the finances of the institutions since they were subvented institutions.
Mr Ayariga said he had asked the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, a question on the lack of compliance with the Act by public tertiary institutions.
He said the minister agreed with him that the institutions were supposed to present their fees to Parliament for consideration and approval.
Mr Ayariga said he had again written a letter to the Minister of Education, copied to the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, as a reminder.
He noted that despite the reminders, the tertiary institutions had not submitted their fees to Parliament for approval.
Mr Ayariga added that information he had gathered from some of the public tertiary institutions was that they had forwarded their proposals to either the Ministry of Education or the National Council for Tertiary Education.
According to him, Parliament was now on recess and is expected to resume in October.
However, he said, some of the public universities and polytechnics had advertised their new fees, which was illegal.