Dr. Clement Apaak the Deputy Ranking Member on Parliamentâ€™s Education Committee has waded into the issues surrounding the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
The management of the school issued a directive asking all students who paid their fees after the deadline for registration to defer the academic year.
The development apparently outraged many students and Ghanaians which saw the school being heavily criticized with some students staging a protest at the schoolâ€™s premises on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
READ ALSO:Â GIJ provides details on deferment directive
The school in a statement on the same day justified the decision, indicating that it should not be seen as a punishment but rather an opportunity for students to maintain their studentship.
Speaking on the matter on Citi FM's Eyewitness News, Dr Apaak argued that the studentâ€™s excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic being the reason for the delay in paying the fees is justifiable.
â€œWe all know the impact of COVID-19 on our Ghanaian economy and the global economy. We know how parents have lost jobs and sold assets. If the students registered late or have not been able to register, and they are making the case that it is as a result of COVID, I donâ€™t think anyone should doubt them,â€
Dr. Apaak proposed that GIJ allows the students to sit for the exams which will come off in the coming weeks.
In the case of final year students, he said GIJ can make the payment of their outstanding fees a pre-condition to their graduation rather than forcing them to defer their courses.
â€œThe institution should extend its magnanimity to the students because these are students who are not going to disappear from the surface of the earth, allow them to write the exams. They have prepared and are in the right frame of mind [to write the exams] in spite of all these socio-economic challenges that COVID-19 had brought upon them. [Allow them to write the exams] then after that, those who are completing will surely come to graduate. They will come for their certificate and whatever amount they owe the school, clearly you will ask them to pay before they get their certificate. Those who are continuing students would have to come again and register for the next semester so why can that not be the way to address the situation under this very trying times which has not been wished by any Ghanaian let alone a student,â€ he argued.
Management of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) however has in a statement explained events leading to their deferment directive.
According to the statement, the directive should rather be considered as â€œan opportunityâ€.