Hon. Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwame Dafiamekpor, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi Constituency, in the Volta Region, has called on public universities, nursing and teacher training colleges in the country to put an end to the exorbitant sale of admission forms to prospective students.
According to the MP, the sale of admission forms at unreasonable cost to prospective students is illegal and has over the years deterred brilliant but needy students from being able to access higher education.
Hon. Dafeamekpor, who is also the deputy ranking member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, expressed these concerns to The Republic after he made a statement on the floor of Parliament last Thursday.
The South Dayi legislator contended that, most of the public universities are on state subvention, hence the need for Parliament to ensure that admission forms sales are scrapped.
Mr. Dafeamekpor added that the charging for admission forms by these universities is a breach of Article (25)1a and (38)1 of the 1992 constitution because the development denies potential students the right to enjoy education.
“Mr. Speaker, presently, the situation has assumed alarming proportions. Why? This is because one is required to fill out and/or complete admission forms as part of the application processes to get admitted to these public universities and colleges. The decision to admit or not to admit rests with the particular university.”
“However, these admission forms are now sold at costly prices. Mr. Speaker, on the average, they are sold for about Ghc250.00 each with an additional amount of say, Ghc20 being charged as service fees, if you purchased these forms through the banks.
“In these forms, the various courses are outlined. Whereas almost all of the courses have requirements of up to aggregate 24/30 or better, as the case may be, the cut-off points for admissions for some of the programmes are pegged at between aggregates 6 and 9,” he stated.
The MP said, at the end of every admission cycle, the amounts of money and/or financial resources that get into the accounts of these universities and colleges come as almost free monies unlawfully obtained from innocent, vulnerable but desperate members of our society, much in contravention of Articles 25(1)(c) and 38(1) of the Constitution, 1992.
He noted that, in some cases, the prospective students who could not afford the admission forms money have to contact their MPs or other public officials for assistance, saying, “What is most worrying is that the fee is non-refundable and this is illegal.”
“Mr. Speaker, the statistics makes very shocking revelations. It is estimated that this year alone, about 400,000 individually qualified Ghanaians would purchase and successfully apply for admissions for various programmes of study in these public universities and colleges. It is further estimated that, in the process, a total of about 1,800,000 application forms would be submitted to these 166 publicly-funded institutions of higher learning by these people as it would include cross and multiple-applications.”
“This means that, these publicly funded universities would realise in excess of about Ghc450million among themselves. Mr. Speaker, an amount they all describe as non-refundable,” Mr. Dafeamekpor argued.
He said, during the 2015/2016 admission cycle, the University of Cape Coast, for instance, admitted in excess of about 17,500 students for its sandwich programmes out of over 50,000 applicants, excluding the number of students that applied for admissions unto its regular programmes.
This, he contended, means that the monies paid by the over 65% of the prospective applicants have been lost to those who applied and yet were not admitted.
The practices by these universities, the South Day MP said, amount to extortion of monies from potential students as a result of the sale of the forms since more forms are sold than the universities can admit.
He said, the situation, if not stopped, would continue to deny most students the opportunity of accessing university education.
Mr. Dafeamekpor therefore called for full disclosure of qualification and disqualification details of universities, ahead of sale of admission forms to better inform prospective students.
For in his considered opinion, the sale of admission forms seems to be a deliberate strategy to extort money from the unsuspecting public.
Source therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba