The leadership of PUSAG has conducted a forensic analysis and has resorted to helping strengthen the hope lost in student leadership with the support of all like-minded people who see such portfolios as a call to duty; which is promoting the welfare of Private Universities Students and Ghanaian Students in the country.
The intended vision of this crusade is to ease the burden on the financial coffers of the various Students Representative Councils (SRCs).
Recent media reports have been wrought with unjust disbursements of GETFUND, Public Utilities, Charter retention and high fees among others.
Truth be told; the kind of student activism that was common in the 1990s does not exist today. We must all come on board and redesign and reform unions that meet current demands rather than stacking with the status quo.
After meticulous cost benefit analyses, it is apparent that most Private Universities Students Representative Councils are faced with financial constraints and yet have to meet their mandatory financial commitment and obligations to National Students Blocs like NUGS, PUSAG, GUPS and USAG.
As we experience the challenges in our economy, with an ever increasing cost of living, we need to judiciously manage our finances.
The NEC of PUSAG understands the sentiments on the embargo insisting schools to be part of blocs before representing at NUGS Congress since that’s the main issue raised by most SRC executives.
Do we need to have schools attending NUGS Congress after going for PUSAG, GUPS and USAG congresses? What’s the essence of electing leadership that can’t represent a bloc or delegate at NUGS level? Have we considered the cost involved in paying capitation and transporting delegates with risks attached for Congresses? For example, do all Ghanaians go for voting for ECOWAS Chairman after everyone exercises the franchise by voting to choose the President of Ghana?
How do students benefit from all these monies paid, aside through ‘aluta’ against the government? What is the relationship and coordination amongst all these blocs?
Why should there be a situation where one over-rides the other? Are we happy with a situation where a bloc claims to fight for the interest of students but actually know nothing about their needs? Who is answerable to who and why?
For example, a private university has on average 1000 students who are paying annual dues of 50 Cedis each, totalling 50,000 Cedis. This implies that a school fulfilling its commitment to all blocs end up spending over 15,000 Cedis in paying dues, congress capitation and likely allowances for being off station. This leaves coffers dry with little or nothing to embark on projects or Initiatives for students. There are even instances where some schools struggle to raise funds to print books for students after spending much needed money on these exercises. In the case of congresses, which bring to light monies for capitations, aspirants are tasked to pay these capitations to secure their votes.
We are in a country where student activism is seen to be a competition among leaders who are looking to building their political careers.
This pursuit leads student activism away from being considered as an avenue to champion interests of our populace. This explains our heartfelt pleasure to applaud all parties fighting for the ‘Y3ntua’ course to boycott the utilities bill passage.
The NEC believes these numerous students blocs lose relevance by focusing on their niche interests. It’s apparent that most recognised blocs that are branded to cater for tertiary level students are prejudiced and seem to be paying more attention to government or public Universities rather than fight the cause of private universities students. This is good, but it’s more prudent for such blocs to restructure their annals to suit their purpose.
We want to put on record that The NEC is vehement on tackling all issues surrounding students and the youth more especially in educational matters. This explains our continuous fight for the demand initiated by previous administrations for the government to expand GETFUND Support to all Private Universities Students, awarding autonomy or Charter status to reduce hiking fees due to slap of affiliation fees and considering the 25 percent Corporate Tax.
There is the need for this withdrawal because its time unions and Associations undergo metamorphosis to stay in existence and be relevance to all.
This is the time for student leaders to make bold decisions and not be anxious about doing the right thing for the common good. Student blocs need complete overhauling now before it gets to a condition where we have to result to changing developmental threads in the unions’ fabrics.
As servant leaders of primarily Private Universities Students, we strenuously believe that an average student who isn’t already concerned with the SRC wouldn’t be excited if a fraction of their dues are used to pay membership dues to mother unions.
To the member institutions, it leads to unnecessary spending of hard earned revenue, in the sense that monies that are paid as dues to those various blocs could have been channelled to one particular national bloc that everyone can fully hold accountable and embark on various institutional projects for development and well positioning of our respective SRCs.
As chapter 5 Article 21(1e) of the 1992 Republic of Ghana’s Constitution promotes freedom of Association, we can not impose on our members to mandatory withdraw from blocs. Hence, the decision is in the bosom of students leaders. We can only advise Private Universities Student Leaders and other concerned leaders to concentrate fully on activities of blocs like PUSAG which have their interest at heart.
We might not be perfect but PUSAG strives to use Excellence as its benchmark.
Long Live Students Struggle
Long Live PUSAG
Long Live Ghana
National President, PUSAG
Media Relations Director, PUSAG
Cc: Council for Independent Universities.