The Dean of students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor William Gariba has underscored the need for student to boycott going for bed spaces at any of the Ghana University Senior Staff (GUSS) hostels on campus and off-campus hostels that charge exorbitant prices.
Management of GUSS Hostel announced accommodation rate early January 2019 for the 2018/2019 academic year with slight increase in the usual prices charged in previous years.
KNUST GUSS HOSTEL PRICES FOR 2018/19
Various student activists have petitioned the office of the Dean of students on the enormous hostel fees charged by management of the GUSS hostels and some hostels situated outside campus for consideration of reduction in the prices of those hostels.
Speaking in an interview on Leadership Corner show Sunday evening, Professor Gariba confirmed that he had received some written petitions from some concerned students and also verbal petitions through phone calls asking his office to help in reduction of the hostel prices.
After a meeting with some of the petitioners to discuss the way forward, Prof. Gariba indicated that GUSS is not an entity managed by the university for that matter the university has less power in determining prices of the hostels.
He however indicated that students may choose to patronized those hostels based on their personal interest.
“Talking about the prices, one would have expected that the market force will determine the prices (demand and supply). If the prices were so high and the management of the hostels realize that they are finding it difficult to fill the bed spaces, they will automatically reduced,” he said.
“But we say the prices are high, yet the place is over subscribed,” he quizzed.
In-spite of engaging the petitioners to see the way forward, the Dean of students indicated that he reached out to management of GUSS hostel, but later realized that figures quoted by the petitioners as huge increment in prices completely differed from that of GUSS management’s, an indication that the petitioners quoted exaggerated figures of 13-15% increment in prices when the increment was actually less than what the petitioners alleged.
“I called the manager of GUSS hostel who graciously sent me the current prices including previous years’ prices of the hostels, because the students were saying that in some cases the price increases were 12.5 and 13%. After seeing the proposed recent price increment from the management, I asked the petitioners to confirm the figures for clarification sake because the hostel management’s recent prices only had about 9.8 increment as the highest among various other increment,” he explained.
However, the Dean of students assured that he would talk to the Vice Chancellor of KNUST to engage with the fund managers to see if there is anyway they will reduce the prices.
In suggesting a possible way out for students if they want the prices to be reduced, Prof. Gariba suggested that “the petitioners should rather advise students never ever to go in for any bed space until the prices are reduced,” he said.