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New education policy will remove barriers to varsity education – Prof. Yankah

The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah has said that the new tertiary education policy document seeks to eliminate all barriers that restrict applicants from gaining admissions into tertiary institutions.

According to him, the demand for pass mark in some core subjects before qualifying for admission will be a thing of the past.

Speaking at the 11th congregation ceremony of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), Professor Yankah indicated that government wants to give qualified Ghanaians equal access to tertiary education in the country.

“Simply put, government seeks to remove bottlenecks in the admissions processes and policies that are simply unjust and discriminate against a majority of students from less endowed homes and institutions where it is an exception rather than a rule to get credit passes in all subjects where no provision is made for even one non-credit pass in a subject is an amount of flexibility according to this new policy which will be rolled out.”

“Obtaining D7 in some core subjects, will thus be further clarified to give hope to some applicants in the humanities for example who may have passed mathematics without credits  but are still been denied access to university even to courses where mathematics will  not stand their way”, he noted.

The government is introducing a new universities bill which is aimed at ensuring harmony in the management and administration of public universities.

But stakeholders including the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have criticized aspects of the bill.

The academics and members of the opposition raised concerns about some of the clauses in the bill.

Among the clauses they had challenges with were that the President of Ghana will appoint five members out of the nine members that will form the university council as well as the chairman of the council.

But, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has urged the government to consult broadly before presenting the draft University Bill to parliament.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST) said consulting broadly and incorporating the views of all stakeholders in the draft bill will ensure peace and tranquillity on the various university campuses in the country.

“The interest generated by the general public in the bill should give a strong signal to the government to accommodate divergent views being expressed by key stakeholders such as the Vice Chancellors Ghana, University Teachers Association of Ghana and Members of Convocation across all the public universities,” he said.

The Bill also gives effect to the University Council to control the finances of the university and determine the allocation of funds.

President Akufo-Addo recently at a graduation ceremony at the University for Professional Studies, Accra described persons who expressed a different opinion and challenged clauses in the Bill as “mischief-makers” and “disingenuous.”

UTAG in response expressed its displeasure over the comments and said it will continue to protest against the clauses it deems inappropriate to ensure that it is fixed before the bill is presented before parliament.

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