Mr. Kofi Opoku Manu, Ashanti Regional Minister, has said it is the policy of the government to establish the School of Allied Science and University of Energy to create more access to students to pursue courses to improve the manpower needs of the country It is also its desire to absorb the greater percentage of the cost of tertiary education to encourage more students to pursue higher courses in universities and other institutions.
Mr Manu said this in an address read on his behalf at the opening of the Seventh Annual Congress of the University Student's Association (USAG) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi on Wednesday. The three-day Congress is under the theme: "Funding University Education in Ghana -Obligation of State, Corporate Institutions and Students."
He said the Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) Loan Scheme is meant to assist brilliant but needy students to pursue courses at the tertiary level and spoke of plans to review the scheme to meet the needs of students. The Regional Minister also touched on the GETfund and said it would be used to expand and improve infrastructure in educational institutions for the benefit of students and their faculties to cover critical areas such as academic and residential facilities and research.
Mr Manu said the government would pursue sound education policies with the active involvement of students and other stakeholders in the decision-making process to effectively address the concerns of students and university authorities. He advised the students to use consultations and diplomacy and avoid the resort to unnecessary strikes and demonstrations which could affect the academic calendar.
Dr. Joseph Samuel Annan, Deputy Minister of Education, said that the government spends 35 per cent of the national budget on only Education noting that this represented the highest education budget in the Sub-Sahara Africa. Mr Maxwell Ofosu Boakye, President of USAG, said due to the current global crisis it was imperative for stakeholders to consider the possibility of tackling the problem as candidly as possible and in all soberness so that realistic solution could be arrived at.
He said the Association played vital role last year in resolving conflicts at the University of Development Studies (UDS), the Islamic University and the Katanga Hall of KNUST. Mrs. Vesta Adu Gyanfi, Vice-Dean of Students Affairs of KNUST, who presided at the Congress, urged beneficiaries of the SSNIT Loan Scheme to pay back the loans for others to benefit.
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