Deferred KNUST students used school fees for sports betting – URO

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Some of the students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who have had to defer their courses for non-payment of school fees used their monies for other ventures such as sports betting, the University Relations Officer, Dr Daniel Norris Bekoe, has said.

Over 6000 students, representing about 8 per cent of the total student population of 85,276 at the KNUST have had to defer their courses in line with university regulations for non-payment of school fees.

The Academic Board of the KNUST on Tuesday made it known to the affected students that they were deferring their various programmes for non-payment of academic user fees.

Early this year, the university extended the payment date from March 21 to April 11, to allow the students to honour their obligation.

But, as of last week when mid-semester examinations were starting, the over 6000 students out of the 85,276 had reneged on their promises.

“Dear student, your programme has been deferred as you have not met the minimum requirement of the KNUST fees Credit and Debt Management Policy”, read the messages the university sent to the affected studen

The University Relations Officer, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, told Graphic Online that some of the affected students have invested their fees in many businesses including online taxi hailing services and were yet to recoup the investment.

Some too, he alleged used their fees to engage in online sports betting and most of them have run at a loss.

On why the students were made to understand that they could go ahead and write their mid-semester exams and probably their results would be with-held until they pay, Dr Bekoe explained:

“…because the system is automatic, so we set the date, once the date elapses it means that, the system automatically defers you.

“So now the system is communicating through text messages to those people who are affected. If you are a student and you have paid that required percentage [70%] and you have registered, you can go through your head of department or the Office of the Dean of Students for…, they will guide you as to what to do so that, they can clear you.”

“But we also know and we have sufficient evidence that, majority of these students who are having these challenges are students who have decided to use their school fees for other things apart from paying for the school fees.”

“We know some have [bought] Uber cars which they use for businesses, some are into bakery, some are into selling of phones and accessories, and they use the school fees. So if you are using the school fees for that kind of purpose and then others also go to do betting, game betting and other things. So if you go and bet and the business goes bad, whose money is supposed to be used to run the university.

“It will interest you to know that every year, this university spends something in the region of GH¢22million to GH¢24million, paying only electricity bills, we are not talking about water, we are not talking about wifi [internet] bills, we are not talking about other things. So the students need to understand that the system in the university must exist for them to be part of it.

“So when you don’t pay your fees and you are using your fees for illegal stuff, then you don’t blame anybody. I will tell you something, we have audios of some parents and even pastors who have attempted to support some of the students with financial support or monies and those monies don’t end up in the kitty, they use it to trade. So these are factual things, it is not like we are just conjecturing these allegations, they are facts. So when you are a student, you have to behave as such and every system has rules and regulations. So if a university of this stature is unable to account for the number of students by way of data, then what are we doing, we cannot plan, so we need to know those who want to be students,” Dr Bekoe said.

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