I took one young girl to Legon in January, 2021 and her hostel room was being painted on the day she was asked to report to campus. Another, a guy, booked a room, paid for it and we were told that the room has already being given to someone so he couldn’t have it. I went to the administration and told them a piece of my mind. If the room was already allocated to someone, why was it still available for selection online? Was it being taken away to be given to somebody connected, powerful? If it was just a technical glitch or software problem, why should we be the ones suffering the brunt?
I know a Valley View University student who couldn’t believe it when the university administration decided to make feeding (strictly adventist food, adventist cooking and meals that non-adventist students don’t like) compulsory for all students. I am sure if they had made it clear that once admitted to an Adventist university, you are obliged to pay for feeding and eat Adventist food, he wouldn’t have enrolled. That decision was rescinded few months ago after non-Adventist students and their guardians complained.
We seem to have a perverse relationship with power in Africa. We only wield it to frustrate people we deem powerless, hell-bent on ‘showing them where power lies.’ How about using power wisely, working for the common good, alleviating the plight of the poor and helpless, and moving people, institutions, schools and nations forward?
This is not an issue peculiar to only UG and VVU. They are both great schools with challenges like any other. But anybody who passed through a tertiary school in Ghana will readily tell you stories about their frustrations and how obstinate and obtuse university leadership and administrators can be sometimes. It happens in some senior high schools as well.
We can’t always be excusing shoddiness with the mantra that ‘nothing is perfect.’ You can’t say that when you are not making the effort to chase perfection, which may get you to ‘good enough and then better. ‘ Nigeria having worse crime numbers doesn’t mean we can’t do better in Ghana. If you are a party in power, don’t target doing better than your opponent, do the best you can. We deserve the best.
Look closely at our university administrations. Most of them resemble African governments hellbent on having their way no matter what citizens think and say. Too, aren’t most of the SRCs breeding grounds for future politicians, who’ll turn out to be as corrupt as the current crop or worse? We’ve had instances of misappropriation of funds and overbloating of project costs. No wonder. The NDC and NPP have university chapters and are already training the next cadre of corrupt Ghanaian politicians.
There are African universities with Heads of Departments who openly claim that they can let you not graduate. Some lecturers can fail you if you don’t do strictly what they think is right and 4 years on campus can be hell, if you are not connected enough and have student leaders who are nothing more than puppets in the hands of corrupt dons.
We are show offs, always power drunk, doing what we please whether it hurts others or not and so full of ourselves. No sense of propriety, no moral compass, no care or concern about what happens to those we wield power over and how it affects them.
Change is coming. When the education revolution happens and more students are able to acess terriary education abroad or go to better universities in Ghana and you have less students rushing to buy your forms, you will start treating those who enroll better.