A Deputy Ranking Member of Parliament’s education committee, Dr. Clement, has described insincere suggestions made by the Member of Parliament for Suame constituency, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, government to amend the GETfund law to support private universities in Ghana.
He says the suggestions from the MP, who doubles as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, are not from a sincere point of view considering the current state of GETFund.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also lamented the constitutional restriction that prevents the government from funding private universities, particularly in STEM education.
He stressed the need for parity, urging the amendment to enable private institutions to access GETFund support and encouraging their participation in fields like science, technology, engineering, and math.
He made this statement during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Christian Service University College (CSUC) in Kumasi.
“In confronting the imperatives of Article 25 Clause 2, with the necessary amendment and leverage the fair playing field for Private universities in pursuant of Article 38 clauses 3 to play the full role in providing full access to all Ghanaian citizens to universities or equivalent institution will give us the opportunity to kill four birds with one stone”.
“The ultimate in achieving this is by amending the constitution on account of the relevant amendment especially article 25 clause 2, which talks about the GETFund support”.
“If the playing field must be levelled, if equal opportunity for all students, then those students in the private universities must be given the opportunity to benefit from the GETFund”, he added.
“Equal levels must be given for the private tertiary institutions to encourage them to go into those sectors”, he stressed.
But reacting to these comments, Dr. Apaak noted that the government has bankrupted the fund, hence the call by the MP has no merit.
He posited that the government has capped the fund and collateralized it, which has made it difficult for the fund to function effectively.
He stated that the fund is no longer able to meet its basic obligations due to its current state.
He has therefore challenged the majority leader to support the private member’s bill to decapitate GETFund.
He said that without this, the call made by his colleague MP is needless and insincere.
“The GETFUND your NPP gov’t has capped, collateralised and bankrupted? The GETFUND that is struggling to meet its basic obligations? If you want GETFUND to do more, support the Private bill to decap it. If not, we can only say your call is insincere.”
He stated that the Majority Leader and his caucus led the charge to have the fund capped despite the opposition from the Minority.
He also revealed that the private member’s bill is being held at the Finance Ministry because the government is opposed to the efforts to have the fund decapped.
“In fact, the majority leader is the same man who led the charge to get a bill to cap statutory funds, including GETFUND passed in 2018. We vehemently opposed the bill, but he whipped his side in line to pass it.
Currently, a Private Members’ bill sponsored by the Chair and Ranking of the Education Committee to decap GETFUND is held up at the Finance Committee because the leadership of the NPP in Parliament and the government is opposed to our efforts to decap GETFUND.