The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has performed a sod cutting for the construction of a 10-floor multipurpose twin tower and two student hostels for the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
The twin tower, estimated to cost GH₵133 million, including offices, lecture blocks, commercial centres and auditorium, is expected to be completed in 30 months.
The GH₵90 million hotel facilities, expected to house thousands of students to increase the university accommodation as well as admission, would be completed in 15 months.
Speaking at the ceremony yesterday, Dr Prempeh said, the initiatives were part of government’s efforts to increase university enrollments and accommodation, following the introduction of the free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
He said government was committed to improve infrastructure developments in tertiary institutions through good management and accountability, transparency and procurement processes.
The Education Minister said government was skeptical about the ability of the universities to manage such huge edifice anytime proposals were made for the construction of such projects, stressing, the era of delay in approving such developments were over.
Dr Prempeh said the free SHS was an initiative the government had committed to ensuring that the more than 100,000 children who qualified for secondary education annually went to school.
“The wastage of human capital due to inability of some parents to raise money for their wards in secondary education would never happen again in this country.
“If we think education is expensive, we have tried ignorant, so if nothing at all, the oil money would be used to finance the free SHS programme,” he said.
Dr Prempeh reiterated the government’s refusal to concerns that parents who could afford to pay their wards fees should be allowed to pay, stressing that the programme was free.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abednego Okoe Amartey, thanked the minister for the swift intervention towards the commencement of the project.
He said the project when completed would enhance academic activities and pledged the university commitment of ensuring good maintenance culture.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN