The Public Universities Bill has again been challenged, this time, by Vice President of IMANI Africa and Builsa South Member of Parliament, who intimate that the Bill is needless as it solves no problem.
Speaking on Joy FM at the weekend the duo held that the Bill was merely a conduit for government to control happenings on university campuses through the back door, an assertion government has denied.
On its part, government said “the purpose of the Public Universities Bill is to provide the procedure for the establishment of Public Universities, principles of management of Public universities, the legal status of Public universities, the procedure for financing Public universities and administration and supervision of the activities of Public universities and related matters.”
But the Builsa South MP, Dr Clement Apaak wanted the bill “shelved. “It is needless, unnecessary and retrogressing,” he added.
In his view that the current system of administering Ghana’s public universities has not posed any challenge or problem for which a bill is required to cure same.
Dr Apaak argued that the Bill when allowed to become law, will rather create serious problems.
He pointed to reserving majority slots on the University Council for government appointees, giving organised university stakeholders just a representation on the university council and harmonizing the administration of all public universities by a common management platform as some of the challenges to arise from implementing the bill.
Illustrating his position, he asserted that the new arrangement was only a conduit for government to control decisions of the university given that the oversight responsibility of the University council invariably affects how lecturers are appointed, how research is financed and policy decisions on the university campus.
“The council will become an instrument for government control. What will be the purpose of changing the composition of the current council if not for the purposes of direction and control” he quizzed?
On his part, vice president of IMANI, Kofi Bentil asked, “what problem are they trying to solve”?
“Why do you go through all these challenges if the problem you are trying to solve is not clear? I am looking for the problem but I still cannot find it,” Mr. Bentil said of the new Bill.
Like Dr Apaak, he settled that the “Bill is merely a backdoor approach for politicians to control what goes on on the university campus”.
But he cautioned against politicians using laws to have their way in what happens on university campuses
This he said, was dangerous because a political office is transient.
“Those who come after you will use it against you,” he said.
Story: News DESK