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Parliament stands down motion to suspend payment of university fees

Parliament on Wednesday stood down a motion by Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, calling on the Government of Ghana to suspend the payment of fees at public tertiary institutions this year.

The House would later deliberate the motion after it had been improved with specifics in the demand.

While contributions from the NDC Caucus supported the motion with arguments that the suspension of the fees is necessary due to the economic hardship imposed on parents by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Majority Side held that it was unnecessary because there were already interventions to support students to cater for their fees.

Mr Ayariga explained that the motion had become necessary because of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on household incomes.

He said the COVID-19 has also impacted negatively on the ability of students who have gained admission into tertiary institutions as well as their parents to pay the school fees.

He was optimistic of getting bipartisan support for the initiative, as he explained that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had constrained household incomes.

Mr Ayariga also stated since the outbreak of the disease the President Nana Akufo-Addo instituted some relief measures, including the payment of water and electricity bills for families.

He said because of the challenge that COVID-19 pandemic posed to household incomes, it would be difficult to request parents to pay for fees to tertiary institutions ranging between GH2,500 to GH4,500.

He, therefore, urged President Akufo-Addo to immediately take steps to suspend the application of fees and charges so that students could go back to school while the state took steps to re-imbursed the universities.

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