University of Education, Winneba
University of Education, Winneba

A new governing council was inaugurated in the early hours of Tuesday, 18th July, 2017, to steer the affairs of the university, for the next 2 years. Even though the government has acknowledged its shortcomings in reconstituting the council, and has apologised accordingly, it is my candid opinion that, this reconstitution, could have been done much earlier. 

Congratulations to all those who have been done the honour by either being elected or appointed to serve on the UEW council. A very difficult and tedious task, await you.

First and foremost, try not to soil your hands with the ongoing litigation. Allow the due process of law to handle it to its logical conclusion. Any attempt to settle the suit out of court, will not clear the names or vindicate the claimant, and therefore, the clouds will not clear.

The 2 major issues, that the council need to tackle urgently, are twofold; students concerns and some staff issues.

Students of UEW, pay the highest fees among all the public universities, and this is an issue that requires urgent attention. For example, whilst Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students at UEW have their fees pegged between Ghc 1,700 and Ghc 2,170, for the 2017/18 academic year, their counterparts at the University of Ghana, Legon (UG) main campus, pursuing Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSC ADMIN), are charged Ghc 1,200. This discrepancy, cuts across almost all programmes. The council will do the ordinary poor Ghanaian, heavenly service, by reviewing UEW fees, downward.

The issue of fit for purpose lecture halls, current and up to date reference materials at the various libraries, a well planned transport system to serve students across all the 3 campuses in Winneba, instead of the current system, where taxis and Metro Mass, are the only options available, require urgent attention. In this era of Information Communication Technology (ICT), it is catastrophic that, the Wifi at UEW, is nothing to write home about. Students have to converge at specific points, such as the main Administration block at the north campus in Winneba, before they can access the Internet. Steps should be taken to ensure that, the Wifi is functioning effectively and efficiently at all lecture halls, classrooms and campus halls of residence and hostels.

The penalty charges levelled by the university on financially challenged students who opt to pay by instalments, should also be abolished.

The construction of examination halls for all the campuses of UEW, is also long overdue.

When it comes to the staff, the main concern is the question of promotion. Some staff have put in applications for promotion for well over 2 years now, and there is no hope in sight for them of being promoted.

In addition, departments that are over subscribed, and the lecturers at those departments end up marking over the contractual scripts of 200, were paid Ghc 1 per script. To add insult to injury, this was unilaterally reduced to about Ghc 0.80p, when payment for the first semester of the 2016/17 excess marking, was effected.

Furthermore, invigilation claims, which has been pegged at Ghc 18 (after tax) per invigilating a 3 hour paper, has remained at this figure for the last 4 years. I don’t want to make comparisons with Legon. I will leave that for the council to look into.

Also, all claims submitted by almost all staff, takes about 4 months for payment to be effected. These claims do not go to Controller in Accra for authorisation, just about 4 signatures in Winneba, and it takes about 4 months to process. This is something that requires urgent redress by the council.

The defunct governing council permitted the Principal Officers to keep 3% of all interest earned on UEW investments. This to some extent, is the cause of the delay in paying all claims. It is therefore, in the interest of the nation, that this arrangement authorising the Principal Officers, to take the 3% interest earned on investments and share among themselves, is stopped immediately.

The Principal Officers are already in the position of fiduciaries, and therefore, duty bound, to invest the university’s funds, prudently, so no need to entice them.

UTAG UEW, for whatever reasons, do not see the above to be issues of concern to both students and some lecturers, only the ongoing legal tussle concerns them, hence, this appeal to the UEW council.

Over to you, Council Chairman!
Source: Alhassan Salifu Bawah