Forever Young - Too Young to be Responsible

Mon, 1 Aug 2011 Source: Arthur, Patrick Kobina

*Forever Young - Too Young to be Responsible: It’s time for NUGS to escape

this mindset*



This piece is an effort to alert the current (year 2011) generation of

students to break away from this self-defeating mind-set that is setting our

country’s development backwards. This mindset of being too young to be

responsible, it’s always someone else’s duty to make sure the Ghanaian

student has everything for free. Your demonstrations, the street fights,

rain of insults on the university management does not do anything against

them in person, it is rather destroying the strong institution your children

should enjoy in the near future.

*Student culture of not caring for anyone or anything:*

Young people, student of today, you have to recognize the urgent need to

escape from this “self-defeating”, “self-destructive” culture and mindset.

You continue with this disruptive demonstrations and all you are doing in

the end is programming yourselves for an obvious future defeat. You are only

preparing for another generation of children of children because you

yourselves refused to grow up first before having them. If students of today

will recognize that it is only in taking absolute responsibility for the

well being and progress of our society that you will really embrace the joy

and opportunities of being young and energetic. Being young should be

synonymous with idealism, courage, compassion, consideration,

insightfulness, willingness to build a great future for the your own

children. This is better than destroying your future and that of your

children through distorted arguments and misguided demonstrations.

*National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) is getting it all twisted:*

What do you stand to gain from an education system that is affordable but

does not transform you well enough and make you a productive member of

society? Why do you prefer rooms meant for 3 people to be occupied by 12

students? Why should paying slightly higher fees that ensures a descent and

comfortable life for you on campus be so unacceptable to you? Why should you

then readily accept illegal selling of beds by you own fellow students for

double the price you are now refusing to pay? Many students who were caught

this act have been sanctioned by the University management, not less than 10

students in this past academic year alone at Legon. By protesting the slight

increase fees and fighting the University management, students are sadly

displaying a grave back of willingness to be responsible for the society

they leave in. Fees are increased mainly to cover the cost of service

provided, if the service can be offered for a lower price there will be

demonstrations now. The university management would have loved this peaceful

situation to exist, but they cannot afford the huge price society will pay

later for not covering the cost of education now. The debt situation of Tema

Oil Refinery and the attendant fuel shortages and the near-collapse of Ghana

Commercial Bank is evidence enough for the youth of Ghana to appreciate the

value of covering the cost.

*Are they really paying too much for education?*

The level of fees students paid to access tertiary education in Ghana is

really low and affordable, it is so soo affordable that many students can

absent themselves from lectures most of the time. Not less that 30 % of

students on the campuses are habitual absentees, many even miss continuous

assessment test and this is not due to medical reasons. If they felt that

the high price their parent paid for them to finally arrive on campus was

too high, they will not miss an hour of a lecture. Imagine buying an airline

ticket to Los Angeles from Ghana and then asking to be returned to Ghana

hours after arrival because you do not like the way someone frowned at you?

This is the moral equivalent of what many students do on our campuses today,

and they can afford to do this because it does not cost them much to be

there. And they wonder why there are no job after graduation and why this

country is developing at such a slow pace? By the way do you know NUGS

people know how much most parents are now paying for kids to attend Nursery?

It’s 300-500 Gh Cedis per term, 900-1500 per year and you complain about

paying 800 Gh Cedis a year for University Education?

*Culture of Dependence from Cradle to Grave:*

Why should the student in New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid, Geneva,

Amsterdam, split his/her time between studying and working part time to make

ends meet but the student in Accra should not and cannot? Here is Ghana, if

the student has no money to live on, he/she will call dad or mum or uncle or

brother then friends of daddy, then pastor, and the list is endless. Somehow

this cultural arrangement programs the young person of today to be

habitually dependent, to the extent that they preferred to use their spare

time to demonstrate or cheer for Chelsea versus Manchester all week. Then,

one day this dependent student becomes an office holder ( not leader of the

country oo!!!), he/she sees nothing wrong with producing a national budget

for the country Ghana which is 50% funded by donor’s money.

*The power of youth:*

Many children in Somalia today are too hungry to even cry and here we are

with talented and energetic band of youth (NUGS), whose only problem is

being asked to pay slightly more so that the condition they study in will be

more descent and comfortable. Instead of applauding the leadership that made

sure that at Legon today, and for the first time in 30 years or more, every

student who needs a room on campus can get one. Accommodation for lecturers

has not seen such great development and yet it is the same students who are

complaining, rather than asking for such great development to be extended to

their teachers, they are misapplying their energies protesting against their

good life. Let me acknowledge that, there are many diligent students who are

doing great for self and country but in times like these they do not show

through, but I wish they call their mates to order.

*Just Curious:*

Why is NUGS not demanding that the Government covers the increased cost for

the university to run properly? If the government decides that other things

are more important that your education, it takes a bold, audacious and

visionary University-Vice Chancellor to decide that the system cannot be

allowed to sink, no-way. And yes it’s easy for every Ghanaian to afford

these fees, if they will stop asking what “Their Country Can Do for Them”.


Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),



Columnist: Arthur, Patrick Kobina