Public Universities not ready for ‘Free SHS’ graduates in 2020 – Legon lecturer

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First batch of graduates of government’s Free Senior High School programme will have a hard time securing admission into public universities in 2020, especially the University of Ghana.

This is according to a lecturer at the Sociology Department at the University of Ghana, Dr. Samson Obed Appiah.

He says that tertiary institutions currently do not have the capacity to absorb the would-be graduates who number over 420,000.

Dr. Appiah explained that the University of Ghana’s huge infrastructure gap makes it difficult to accept more students to study at the university, ABC News can report.

He says that government’s nonchalant attitude towards supporting universities in constructing more residential facilities and lecture halls makes it more difficult for public universities.

Government’s policy on the Free SHS does have a direct link with the tertiary institutions. One of the issues is with infrastructure which we saw last year. Now the first batch of the Free SHS will come in September 2020, so by now there should be concrete steps put in place by the government to ensure that we see efforts by which the universities can solve the problem of accommodation,” he said 

Speaking at a public policy dialogue, the lecturer further criticized University of Ghana’s management on its decision to prioritize first year students over continuing students in the next academic year in the application for residence on campus.

He challenged the Students Representative Council and Junior Common Room executives to fight against the proposition from University management.

‘If you give a student accommodation the first year and the second year you let him out, where do you expect him to go. So I expect the SRC, JCR and the Old Vandals to begin to rise up and question the decision by management because it won’t solve the problem of accommodation. So in conclusion I can say that the public universities are not prepared for the third part of the Free SHS in terms of the lecture halls, accommodation and the human resource.’

Dr. Obed Appiah is not the first to draw the attention of government to the need to expand the infrastructure of public universities.

Former Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana, Prof. Peter Quartey, in 2018 held a similar view.

He stated that universities currently do not have the capacity to let in those who will meet the minimum entry qualifications.



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