Accommodation challenges in public universities ‘news to me’ – Prof. Yankah

The Minister of State-In-Charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, is not aware that students in public tertiary institutions are still faced with accommodation challenges.

After some news reports of existing challenges with accommodation on various campuses were played during his appearance on Citi TV’s Point of View, he responded by saying, “it sounds like news to me actually because I would have thought we had put behind us the issue of accommodation challenges in the universities so that we could concentrate on largely academic problems.”

Prof. Yankah said this on Wednesday when he appeared on The Point of View hosted by Bernard Koku Avle.

Due to accommodation challenges and the need to increase the enrollment of female students, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology recently converted all its halls into mixed to accommodate both male and females.

Despite the existing halls, public universities still struggle to provide enough accommodation for its students, leaving them at the mercy of private hostel owners who charge them exorbitant amounts.

Prof. Yankah, who was once the Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ghana and later President of the Central University on The Point of View said: “It looks to me that the universities have not been able to keep up with the increasing number of students.”

Asked what the government intends to do for the many students who are likely to apply for university admissions as a result of the Free SHS policy, Prof. Yankah did not sound convincing in his response, saying casually that efforts are underway to ensure that the accommodation challenge doesn’t worsen.

Some students unhappy with halls conversion at KNUST

There have been tensions at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology over management’s decision to convert its all-male halls; Unity Hall is also known as Conti and University Hall also known as Katanga Hall into mixed halls.

Both current students and alumni of Continental and Katanga Halls have been protesting the decision by management to convert the halls.

Although the matter was taken to court by some old students of the university, it was thrown out.

Justice Samuel Obeng Diawuo, who presided over the case explained that the applications came after the University had allocated accommodation to students who had admissions.

We’ve no policy regulating tertiary education in Ghana – Prof. Yankah

Ghana has not had a policy regulating tertiary education in the country, at least not in the last twenty years.

The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, disclosed that the tertiary education space is only being regulated by guidelines.

“There is no policy. There are only guidelines. We don’t have any tertiary education policy at the moment,” he said on Point of View.

The Minister added that “at the moment, the committee working on it is about to hand in their report” and that by the end of September he expects the policy document to be ready.

According to him, ensuring that this policy was ready was “the most important thing we [government] would like to do” for tertiary education in Ghana.

“There was one in the 90s or so which gave guidelines about the percentage of foreign students a university can allow and so on and so forth. There’s no policy document at the moment, we have only guidelines. And we are bent on having one…At the moment the committee working on it is almost done”.

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