Daakyehene Gerald writes:

My laptop is resting on my laps in front of the balm library and it is exactly 4:42 A.M. I shake my head and I noticed that a number of glitches that are plaguing our tertiary institutions float my mind. For a moment I asked myself, who is to be blamed? Is it the government? Or the management of the various institutions? Or perhaps you would bare me out that we the students must take the blame? With University of Ghana as a case study, I shall in this paper justify the reasons for which students are the principal cause of their problems.

Once upon a time, students were seen as the captain of the economic, political and social activities of the nation. The actions and inactions of students had enormous influence on policy making. The national union of Ghana students were not in any way written off whenever crucial decisions bordering the state were to be arrived at not to talk of their own institutions. Before I forget, I must be quick to add that it isn’t the case that the then students were not facing pressures or threats from management but they were eager to champion their rights irrespective of the pressures posed by external forces. This is justify in our elders’ adage: “no matter how short you are, your scrotum can never touch the ground.” The then students could go as far as seeking for court action when all other alternatives like demonstrations fail in order to ensure that their interests are upheld. But what do we see today, students’ leaders and activists seem to be unconcerned about the pressing issues adversely affecting students. But come to think of it, do we still have students activists? Students of these days only engage in something that looks like activism when they seek to occupy certain leadership portfolios and they later retire to their confort closets.

Three years down the memory lane, nothing serious has been done about the ingenerated generators that were purchased by the Joshua Dogbe’s administration and subsequent freshers keep on paying for something that does not exist. It would shock you to know that the University of Ghana SRC does not even have proper records of what pertained during the Dogbe led administration which is just about three years ago. For the past at least two academic years, students of mathematics and statistics keep on paying for practical fees whilst they don’t do practicals and our leaders have folded their arms. We have in the past been levied what they call “SRC hostel fees” and till date not even the foundation of such building has been constructed. As usual students are not doing anything about it. Or perhaps, my friend Zug Biova Gbogbo Enyonam is right when she says student activism has relegated to the background because the various tertiary institutions are filled with children. I believe that is not far from the truth, it is either our tertiary institutions are filled with entities with hearts of parochialism or chicken hearted souls.

The time is now 5:17 A.m and I am beginning to feel cold and my laptop battery is also running low so I will stop here and hope for the better. Although it is difficult to convince the monkey that strawberry is sweeter than banana, I entreat all and sundry not to start lambasting me upon the first reading but read and read again so that we collectively see how to restore the vivacity of student activism.