And so I smiled and blinked my tiny eyes to read it over and over again. It sank deep into my heart to believe that the rumour has matured into a hard truth; unbelievable.
GH2This has caught many people into a strong net of no easy escape if it should be the only option to getting their hard earned certificates.

Many are struggling to make ends meet after graduating for a year without a certificate to aid them apply for jobs and this has come to add up to make their hearts beat.

I believe many graduates under this plight are having bunch of questions marks floating in their brain boxes. “Is this how I am going to be after school? Have I become their asset to invest in and make profit out of me even out of school through this medium?

Well, it has not been long since news came about students to start paying utility bills. This might sound palatable in the ears of the “pure” politician, but if you care to borrow the ears of the poor student to listen to this, you will realize how bitter and painful it is to him.

Dear Honourables (Leaders of arms of government and school officials) of the land of peace; Ghana,
I bring warm greetings to you and your entire family. It is with a troubled heart and a head full of question marks as I inscribe this to your desks. My prayer is that this gets to you. And my deepest prayer is that we will get positive results.

It is the wish of everyone that whatever he or she benefits from should continually be in existence; but if it becomes a burden to the individual and yet there are other means of taking care of that then that is the origination of the problem.

We have heard of students paying utility bills being the way forward for our country Ghana. I do not want to say that this statement was made without going down to the grass roots to know how many students are able to fund their full fees every academic year and also get the needed handouts to make the grades required of them. Well, I am compelled to say it.

How glad students would have been to have heard you speak to them one on one and listen to their side of the story; this (talking to the people in question) I think should be an option before policies are made laws.

The young man walking on the face of the streets of our cities is that same person who is seen sitting in the lecture hall to listen to the lecturer. Lecturers you know better. Gurus of the land, as you as well know.

This man feeds, washes, buys handouts and pays his school fees out of the sales made. I am beginning to ponder and wonder what will happen to him if utility bills in schools are factored into his sales.

Will he defer his program? If yes, how about if he is not able to return to school within the timeline? He should continue to be on the streets abi? Maybe it is not much money to pay, but I have not forgotten the day I had to pay my school fees and getting short of ten Ghana Pesewas; I was rejected and a friend had to bail me out.

You are the same leaders who advocate for people to go to school. Are you not scaring those unable to make ends meet to drop out of school? What happens after the drop out? Your guess will be as right as mine.

I think if for once, policy makers can fix yourselves into the shoes of that poor student for just a day, then you will rescind to your decision. You will not get the effect if even you are paying for your wards; for out of the sweat of the street boy you are paid.

I have no problem for you receiving your salaries; there is no doubt that you work for it, but do not forget the street boys’ tax.

I almost forgot. What about that category that says “development levy”? I was the lazy type who did not suffer my head to delve into what the development levy entails, but I guess utility bills are all part of development? Or demarcation of the development levy into different categories does it better?

Well, what matter most is that you reconsider your plans of students paying utility bills; they are not yet landlords and landladies yet.

AND THIS ONE TOO

And so as I was troubling my head about this issue, a friend shared a text message from Kumasi Polytechnic that reads “Dear stds, please those of you who graduated in 2014 will have to deposit 200 (two hundred Ghana cedis) as their utility bills before their certificate will be released. This amount will be refunded when government pays the bills.”

I do not want to believe students have now become the children of Government. If so then the definition of government is nullified! Management of Kumasi Polytechnic, I know that the Polytechnic is the number one Polytechnic in Ghana and oh before I forget, the second tertiary institution in the Ashanti Region.

Could that be the reason why any activity by Polytechnics against “Government”, Kumasi Polytechnic will be on the forefront? How about when other Polytechnics have issued certificates out to their graduates?

The graduation ceremony that was recently held, did you not levy graduates? Was that for refreshment? Oops I heard it was only a bottle of water. Anyway it quenched the thirst of a thirsty soul.

Did you plan already to levy alumni before issuing out certificates that made you to keep them for almost a year? How will they get jobs without certificates? And how can they pay without jobs? Maybe you have forgotten that, they are no longer under “salary” (monthly pocket money from parents).

My pen is now struggling to bleed for the impulse of the brain and my biro is no longer at par.

To my honourable policy makers, for the love of country, rescind your plans to levy students of utility bills; they still have soft bones.

Before I bow, I want to remind management of Kumasi Polytechnic that, students are not the children of government and therefore, issues of concern between Government and management should not affect students.

The grass need not suffer at this time of the fight. I am expecting rain after the storm.

Concerned citizen.

Source: Michael Alung

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