Some students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, GIJ, today, Sunday, protested a decision by school authorities to prevent them from writing end of semester exams.
The peaceful protest, which almost turned chaotic, was against management for not allowing them to take the exams over non-payment of fees in full.
The students, clad in red and black apparels, stormed the school’s campus in Accra, and called for the immediate removal of the newly inducted Rector of the institute, Professor Kwabena Kwamsah-Aidoo.
The students say they are being oppressed by the Rector and have hence threatened to take the law into their own hands.
“Management is treating us as though we were nothing. This new Rector wants to change everything on campus and we don’t even know the reason. Students face financial challenges, others are on various loan schemes and all of these students are being denied of writing examinations although they will pay later”, one student said.
Another mentioned that, “I paid a little over 60 percent of the fees; Ghc1600 out the Ghc2600 amount plus SRC dues of 90Ghc. Even with this I was unable to register. I came back to the Academic Affairs and they told me they had a challenge with the online portal. So, yesterday and today I was barred from writing my papers and all the Registrar could do was to rain insult on us”.
Personnel from the Ghana Police Service were deployed to the school to maintain order and calm down tempers of the aggrieved students.
According to the school’s regulations, continuing students are supposed to pay at least 60% of their fees in the first semester before they will be allowed to register their courses and partake in the exams.
However, according to these students, despite paying nearly their fees in full, they were not allowed to write their papers.
Some were also prevented for their inability to register their courses online.
Meanwhile following the protest, Citi News’ Jessica Ayorkor-Aryee reports that the exams scheduled for 1:00pm and 4:00pm today for level 400 and Masters students respectively, have been cancelled.
A new date is yet to be announced for the papers to be taken.
Management members of the Institute are reportedly in a closed-door meeting with leaders of the Students Representative Council (SRC) over the numerous issues raised by the aggrieved students.
Series of students’ protests
In recent times, students of tertiary institutions across the country are using demonstrations as a means of drumming home their demands after ‘fruitless’ internal arrangements.
Key among these protests is the violent demonstration at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology where several school properties were vandalized.
Last month, the SRC of the University of Ghana also threatened hold a demonstration to compel management address the challenges of shuttle services and the operationalization of power plants on campus.
But a day after the threat, the intended demonstration was indefinitely suspended after an assurance by management to address their concerns.
The distance education students of the University of Ghana also hinted of a demonstration to push the university authorities to improve the poor academic conditions they experience.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service and the Police, averted a planned protest by students of the Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI) over management’s decision to have students write their examination in dining halls instead of classrooms.