Source: The Republic - Students of the Accra Polytechnic have clashed with the school’s top management for what they described as a unilateral decision to use the schools internally generated funds to construct commercial shopping outlets and a hotel instead of upgrading the school’s crippling infrastructure.
Students of Accra Polytechnic earlier this week refused to attend lectures in protest against the controversial construction being undertaken by the school’s management.
In the view of several students who spoke to
The Republic on the raging controversy, the institution of learning has deviated from its vision of becoming a universal center of excellence for teaching and research of applied science, art and technology, because it had been perennially dogged by a lack of basic infrastructure that will make this vision feasible.
They therefore did not understand why the school authority will curiously be prioritizing shop construction instead of upgrading school infrastructure after sizeable funds from internal sources accrued to them.
Some of the teachers who spoke in confidence with The Republic at press time have stated their frustration with the school management over what they described as misplaced priority and mismanagement hampering the academic progress of the school.
Curiously, the contract for the commercial properties at the centre of the controversy was reportedly sole sourced by the Finance Officer of Accra Polytechnic-Yaw Appreku Awuah, to a certain Fagmon Ventures. Interestingly, Mr. Awuah is said to have earlier on, personally introduced to the company to the school’s management.
The rector of the institution, Professor Achio, is said to have expressly endorsed the arrangement and his decision was allegedly seconded by the Chairman of the Polytechnic Council, Professor Joshua Alarbi who is incidentally the rector of University of Professional Studies (UPS)
The cost of the over 70 shops per the contract was originally estimated at Ghc950,000 and that of the campus hotel was estimated at Ghc1 million, but has since been affected by inflation and it currently stands at almost Ghc1.9 million; while the hotel is estimated at Ghc2.4 million.
Meanwhile, as a result of this impasse, the Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) has issued a warning to the management of the institution to stay clear of students’ governance, and to desist from stamping their authority on issues that can best be addressed by the SRC.
Also, the students told this paper that the school authority has succeeded in crippling the students’ representative bodies such as: the Students Representative Council(SRC) which would have hitherto challenged the actions of the authorities.
GNUPS has vehemently staged its disapproval of management’s introduction of a grading system as a pre-requirement for students standing for SRC posts, saying it was a gross violation student rights.
Recently, the school authorities introduced an academic grading system or a CGPA grade point requirement of 3.5 pre-requisite before a student can contest for the SRC presidency and a 3.0 CGPA for any post other than the SRC president.
Meanwhile, lecture halls at the Accra Polytechnic lack public address systems which affects effective interaction among lecturers and students; Poor security on campus, a situation posing a threat to student safety and a lack of career guidance centre and programmes for the school.
Some students also recalled a similar instance of manipulation of students front by management when in 2013/2014 academic year, the provisional examination timetable caused students to write 2 or 3 papers a day during the first semester examination, and in their bid to protest, the then SRC president, Daniel Owusu Osei, led in quashing the protests.