Following the release of fees for the 2017/2018 academic year and the animosity that has greeted it, I have this few suggestions to make to all students, activists and anyone who cares to make a change with the fee schedule.
I have seen around, and as typical of we Ghanaians, anomic groups have been formed all around – from Concerned this, to Coalition of that, I must admit that those are great efforts, and must be applauded. It just shows the number of students in particular who are willing to make change happen in the University of Ghana.
However, I must note my aversion to the approach being used by many if not all. Let’s not be writing articles and petitions that has nothing concrete, factual and compelling to assuage management or anybody that cares. Let us not attack the issues with emotions when we can actually sit down and punch holes into the fee schedule to make a case. Nobody will listen to us.
So I wrote about the skyrocketing fees, a few days back and actually started the #FeesMustFall Campaign but I read over again and made a logical case for and against my contentions and found out that I was just being emotional and sensational about the whole issue. Imagine if I get the audience of Parliament or the Minister of Education, the Vice Chancellor, the governing council or even the president of the country and I’m asked to make a case as to why I think the fees must fall, I wondered if I would be able to make any convincing arguments, at the time these thoughts occurred to me, I felt I was caught pants down, gaping.
I was unsure if I could make any logical and cogent arguments other than appealing to their emotions and morality.
At this moment the best we can do for ourselves is to have a proper and comprehensive stakeholder conversations, thoroughly examine the components of the whole fee schedule and build a solid foundation out of that and make an appeal other than building this fundamental issue on straw – emotions and morality.
I also think the groups and petitions and the voices are becoming far too many. At the moment, all indications are that we have an SRC that is willing to fight with us, an SRC that is not in bed with management, and so the best we can do for ourselves is to partner them and make those calls in unison.
Me must exhaust all internal mechanisms. I have seen petitions to Parliament, to ministries and even to the President whilst we have not even petitioned our own University management. What will happen if the bodies mentioned above call on our management to make an enquiry into this and they say they have no idea of such agitations? You can even file a case in court and you’d be thrown out for not exhausting all existing internal mechanisms.
I’m pretty much aware of the many half hearted student activists who want to make a name out of this issue or launch political ambitions. Probably they are having a field day, and they want to latch on it for their own political benefits which is politically correct but realistically parochial.
Let’s be coherent and cogent or we will just be making noise and the semester will begin and nothing fruitful will come out of this. Let’s not behave like those #GhandiMustFall activists, because as we speak, Ghandi is still standing behind the glorious Balme Library with the only fallen thing being his caricatured spectacles. We must not even forget that those activists were more powerful than we are – those were Doctors and professors and their petition has come to naught.