International Day of Education: A letter to the President
Dear Mr. President,
Today, January 24, is International Day of Education and we the Faculty and staff at the BlueCrest School of Business and Communication wish to congratulate all stakeholders across the globe who have contributed in promoting education at all levels and particularly thank you, Mr. President, for promoting education in Ghana, especially for overseeing the implementation of free senior high schooling in the country.
Again, we wish to congratulate you, Mr. President, for the huge investments you have made in the education sector since your assumption into office. Mention can be made of the re-introduction of teachers’ allowances, expansion of free feeding for children at the basic level of education, teacher motivation packages and the supply of some free teaching materials to children across the length and breadth of the country.
While applauding your good works so far in the education sector, kindly permit us to bring to your attention an urgent educational sector concern — the struggles of privately-owned universities and colleges in Ghana.
There is no gainsaying that private universities in Ghana play an important role in augmenting the efforts of public universities to prepare Ghanaian students to join the national labor force. Yet, Mr. President, despite their contribution to the human resource needs of this country, private universities and colleges have been left to the harsh business climate of Ghana with little or no support.
The virtually non-existent support for most of these institutions has buckled many of them to their knees having to battle with high operational costs, resulting in high fees, which in turn leads to low enrolments.
Again, most of the private institutions are confronted with meeting their rather high tax obligations thus making their situation dire. They neither receive tax incentives nor benefit from any form of government subventions. The picture is darker when one factors in the negative impact of exchange rate fluctuations and rising utility bills on their operations.
Sir, if enrolment in private universities continues to dwindle, a good number of Ghanaian citizens would be denied higher and skilled educational opportunities; which is bad for the quality of Ghana’s labor force.
Your Excellency, it was against this background that many private university stakeholders received you with open arms when you promised to come to their aid with progressive policies. Two of your lofty and mouth-licking promises will suffice here: