THE FATE OF DISTANCE EDUCATION STUDENTS IN GHANA; HOW THE STATE FAILED ITS CITIZENS – DESAUG TELLS IT ALL


The Distance Education Students Association Of University of Ghana (DESAUG) on Thursday, 31st of May 2012 held a press conference in Accra under the caption ” THE FATE OF DISTANCE EDUCATION STUDENTS IN GHANA; HOW THE STATE FAILED ITS CITIZENS.

According to the leadership of the Association, the purpose of the press conference was to  make known to Ghana and the entire world , the high level of unfairness and injustices that has been meted out to Distance Education Students in the University and beyond by successive Governments and Political parties in this country.

Among the issues they want Government to look at are
* Government Subvention for Distance Students
* Rebate for Government Workers on Distance Education Courses of Study and
*The SSNIT Loan Scheme

GOVERNMENT SUBVENTION
According to the leadership, over 60,000 Distance Education Students across the length and breadth of the country, not a single student benefits from government subvention in terms of school fees. Distance Students are made to pay the full cost of their study. Interestingly, over 80% of Distance students are workers who are taxed on monthly basis, and part of these taxes goes into payment of government subventions but the State deems it fit to deny Distance students a share of subventions paid to other students in the country. “What an injustice!”

SNNIT LOAN SCHEME
According to the Association, after many years of the introduction of Distance Programme in the country, Distance students have been and still prohibited from accessing the students loan. They said, it is ironical for working Distance students to have contributed into the SNNIT fund for more than decade but cannot access SSNIT Loans because Distance Education is alien to the law that established The Student Loan Trust. They believe that the law is outmoded and unfriendly to all Distance Education Students nationwide. Such unfair laws deserve no place in the Ghanaian Democratic society. They therefore call on Government and Civil Society to impress upon the Parliament of Ghana to as matter of urgency review the law that established the Student Trust Loan.

According to the leadership, there are many advantages derived from Distance Education mode of study.
*It allows students to study whiles taking care of other social responsibility
*The State being spared the burden of investing into infrastructure in the area of accommodation for students on various university campuses.
*Working Distance students pay taxes to the state therefore contributing to national development.

They are therefore calling on Government and Political Parties in the country to respectively invest heavily into Distance Education in the country. They also used the occasion to advice politicians to promote peace as election 2012 approaches.

Joseph William Quayson

Volunteer at www.cranchon.com

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