Why are the universities silent?
The revelation last week by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) that those behind advertisements inviting mature students to register for classes to prepare them for an entrance examination into key universities in the country are scammers is troubling.
The GTEC has, therefore, advised the general public, especially adults desirous of pursuing tertiary education, to desist from patronising such advertisements.
The advertisers invite adults 25 years and above to register for tertiary education in University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Education, Winneba (UEW) or University of Ghana (UG), Legon.
Those advertisements, among others, state that the prospective candidates only need to be 25 years and above and do not need to have the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) certificate as a requirement for participating in the examination.
However, the GTEC dismissed those claims and cautioned the public, especially adults, to stay away from those adverts, describing them as scams.
The GTEC says there is nothing like being admitted as a mature student without any certificate, specifying that indeed, a potential student needs to have some form of certificate.
The Deputy Director-General of GTEC, Professor Ahmed Abdulai Jinapor, explained that for GTEC admission requirements for mature students, the prospective candidate needed to have a credit in English and Mathematics and also pass an entrance examination depending on the way the particular university wanted it.
Such a student needs to have relevant work experience because that student is given the opportunity to access tertiary education even though he or she does not meet the minimum requirement because of the requisite work experience.
Surely, English and Mathematics are the bedrock of our current educational system and there is nowhere a student will be offered admission without any basic requirement other than the age limit.
The Daily Graphic finds it strange that these advertisements have persisted over the years if, indeed, those behind these notices are scammers.
Should it be the case, then a lot of people have surely fallen victim to their activities.
The revelation by Prof. Jinapor that his outfit contacted the supposed beneficiary universities about the issue and they denied commissioning any agent to recruit or organise such exam on their behalf is even more surprising.
It is surprising because those behind these advertisements are not faceless.
They boldly and openly display their contact numbers on the notices.
The Daily Graphic is wondering why the universities mentioned in those advertisements did not react but allowed some individuals or group of people to dupe unsuspecting adults desirous of pursuing university education.
Are these universities aware of the negative impact such activities are having on their hard-earned image and reputation?
The Daily Graphic wonders if really, the supposed beneficiary universities are unaware of the activities of those behind the advertisements.
We are tempted to believe that some officials of those universities are behind the organisation of those classes and that is why they are bold enough to use the names of the universities without thinking that they could be questioned.
The management of these universities should launch an enquiry into these activities and unveil the real faces behind those advertisements; it could be that some staff are using the names of their universities to make ill-gotten wealth.
We expect management of the universities often mentioned in the advertisements to openly and publicly distance themselves from those advertisements.
That is the only time people will believe that those universities often mentioned have no association whatsoever with the organisers of those entry examination classes.
Unfortunately, the GTEC, the regulator in the tertiary education space, looks on helplessly because its mandate does not cover activities outside the vicinity of the tertiary space.
So, the only thing GTEC can do is to educate potential students and sensitise them to be wary of such activities.
The Daily Graphic is sad that everybody looks on unconcerned, while adults who genuinely seek university education are left in the dark.
University education is a serious business and is meant for those who have what it takes to pursue it and no university should do anything to dilute its relevance.