Friday, June 23, 2017

MP Describes Sale Of Admission Forms As ‘Unlawful

6:24:00 PM

The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Dafeamekpor, has said it is unlawful for tertiary institutions to be selling application forms, especially at rates that are becoming exorbitant for low income families.

The sale of admission forms to prospective applicants by public tertiary institutions, he insisted, contravenes Article 25(1)(c) and 38(1) of the 1992 Constitution.

"The right to seek access to higher education is constitutionally guaranteed. So, any attempt to condition that on economic grounds amounts to a nullity. There should be no economic bar; more so, there should be no economic condition to satisfy before I am granted the opportunity to access further education," he told the B&FT.

Article 25(1)(c) of the 1992 constitution stipulates that higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education.

Additionally, Article 38(1) also stipulates that; The State shall provide educational facilities at all levels and in all the Regions of Ghana, and shall, to the greatest extent feasible, make those facilities available to all citizens.

"The situation is this: if I am qualified, if I have aggregate 9, 9 ones or 9 As and I am supposed to go read medicine or go become a student in law and I have applied and I am supposed to be admitted but cannot be admitted because I have no money to purchase the admission forms, it means my right to access that education at that level has been denied me on grounds that I cannot afford."

He further appealed to government to review that policy and direct public institutions to stop selling admission forms, because within the terms of the various constitutional articles, it is a nullity.

"If somebody can test this, it will be fine because it serves as an economic bar to achieving my educational right… It is becoming a burden on the elected officers at the various constituencies," he said, alluding to the fact that families approach elected officials to query for money to buy the forms.

According to him, the other worrying trend is that the prospective applicants are being asked to apply through the banks, with the banks also slapping their bank charges in addition to the cost of the forms.

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 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 as it would include cross and multiple-applications.

"This means that, these publicly funded universities would realise in excess of about GhC450m amongst themselves, an amount that all describe as non-refundable," the MP said.

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