UG SRC President calls on school authorities to address accommodation problems

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The Students Representative Council (SRC) President of the University of Ghana, Isaac Agyemang, has called on authorities of the school to act swiftly in addressing accommodation issues on campus.

This follows the inability of first year students to secure rooms at the various traditional and new halls of the university.

Speaking on Accra Based Citi FM, Isaac Agyemang said beneficiaries of the free SHS education that got the 2019/2020 admission to the university have been struggling for the past two weeks for accommodation.

He further called on the authorities to act immediately to solve issues of accommodation before things get out of hand.

“Looking at the point where the 2021 academic year which would see an influx of free SHS beneficiaries come into the university, would mean that we would have more people. So, I believe more needs to be done in terms of infrastructure, more needs to be done in terms of accommodation as well. So, if we are not able to put up certain things to actually solve these issues now, then we would have ourselves to blame when the realities are glaring at us within this period,” he said.

Background

First-Year students of the University of Ghana, Legon, are facing accommodation challenges. This is due to the insufficient number of rooms at the various traditional and new halls of the university.

 

All the rooms in the traditional and new halls of the university were booked barely two hours after the opening of the online residential accommodation on Monday, August 31, 2015.

The traditional halls of the University of Ghana are the Commonwealth, Volta, Legon, Akuafo and Sarbah, while the new halls of the university are Jubilee, Limann, Kwapong, Elizabeth and J. Nelson.

Previously, the university had the in-out-out-out residential policy, where accommodation was available for only fresh students, but that system was abolished in 2009, following the completion of the new halls.

Under the current system, students who secure accommodation in the first year will continue to be in the hall for the four-year university programme.

The worry of many fresh students, therefore, is that once they are unable to secure accommodation at the university’s halls, they will have to pay higher rents at the private hostels.

The private hostels include African Union, Bani, Evandi, and Topp Nelson.

While the traditional and new halls of the university charge GH¢794 and GH¢1,400, a year respectively, the private halls charge as much as GH¢2,500.

The Daily Graphic was unable to get information on the number of applicants or the number of students who gained admission, because according to officials at the admissions office, admission was ongoing.

Advantages/disadvantages

The traditional halls have the advantage of proximity to the lecture halls, which enables students to walk to lecture halls and library, whereas most of the private hostels are far from campus so students incur additional transportation cost.

The private hostels, however, are more spacious and modern so a limited number of students share the toilets and bathrooms.

Support mechanism

Realising the difficulty that the fresh students go through in securing accommodation, a Level 300 student of the university, Mr Eugene Agyei, has volunteered to guide the fresh students and relay information on accommodation to them by creating a WhatsApp forum for that purpose.

He told the Daily Graphic that the accommodation challenge was not a new phenomenon at the University of Ghana.

According to him, all the rooms were booked 30 minutes after the opening of the online residential accommodation registration.

He said many students who logged in 30 minutes later were disappointed because they could not register.

School authorities

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Attempts by the Daily Graphic to get answers from administrative officials did not yield any results because they would not comment on the issue.

 

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