Steven Zando, a sports journalist with KNUST’S Focus FM has challenged owners of hostels outside the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to contribute some amount of money to construct good roads for students.
The poor nature of the roads leading to the various hostels have been a persistent problem with students who reside off campus and have made them liable to slip when there is rainfall.
In KNUST, about 60% of the student population is non-resident. There are private hostels around the campus and in Kumasi for students who, as a result of limited facilities, could not be admitted as residential students. In view of this, you would expect that Student welfare will be of supreme interest to the hostel managers as more than half of the student populace patronize these hostels for accommodation, thus boosting their ‘hostel business’.
Noteworthy, some critical problems have been overlooked by the hostel managers particularly, the road networks. The poor nature of the roads at some parts off campus specifically the road streets of Ayeduase community, a suburb close to KNUST campus, Engineering gate, Kotei and its environs are of great concern to Steve Zando who wants attention to be drawn to that.
Speaking on the most popular Sportaiment show (a Friday night sports program which airs on focus 94.3 Fm at 7pm), Afful Stephen who is popularly known in the media circles as Steven Zando used the platform to register his displeasure.
“Let’s be honest with ourselves, this problem has persisted for long and its affecting we the students. It looks to me that no one cares”, he said.
“When it rains, students find it difficult to use the roads because smooth movement of even vehicles is impeached. So I ask, can’t managers of the hostels outside campus, contribute an amount for the construction of the roads?” he quizzed.
He believes that the university authorities have given the hostel mangers free room to operate for that matter, they take decisions that suits them alone, hence overlooking the interest of the students.
”When you go to Legon, private hostels are restricted, they don’t just increase hostel prices but here in KNUST, every owner decides to increase the price anytime he wants. If you think that I’m lying, check the recent hikes in hostel prices. I was in Amen Hostel last year, this year, they increased 4 in a room from 1000 cedis to 1200 cedis but with no significant improvement”.
Steven Zando challenged all hostel managers in Ayeduasi, Kotei, and New Site to contribute at least 5000 Ghana cedis each to construct proper roads at those areas because students who reside at those areas deserve better.
“It’s not always that government must come in, in the villages, they go for loans and construct roads leading to their cocoa and orange farms because they know their businesses boom with good roads and I expect same to happen here in KNUST as this is a business to them”.
Zando’s concern is a genuine one. He referred to a system in the University of Ghana, where private hostels operate on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system. The school gives land for any interested party to build a hostel for a period of 25 years after which the hostel automatically becomes a property of the school-a system known as ‘tenancy agreement’.
‘’Recently, Bani Hall, and Evandy Hall in Legon were initially private hostels but were turned into a hall after the tenancy agreement with the University elapsed and ownership transferred to University authorities. Unlike KNUST, anyone builds a hostel anytime anywhere and charge students anyhow. If there is a regulatory body from the school, it could help address these problems’’.
Source: John Essien/focusfmonline.com