Govt courts Otumfuo to help resolve KNUST impasse

 

The government has requested Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), to lead efforts in reconstituting the university’s governing council.

This latest move by government follows a widespread rejection of an interim council announced by the government.

The new council is expected to be reconstituted by Friday, November 2, 2018, and will take over from the Interim Governing Council, according to a press release issued in Accra and signed by the Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.

Continuing, the statement noted that the government had subsequently engaged with UTAG and updated them accordingly.

“Government has subsequently engaged with UTAG and updated the Association accordingly. UTAG has undertaken to restore services, cooperate in resolution efforts and encourage other stakeholders to join resolution efforts,” it said.

Against this background, the statement said that the university will reopen on November 8, 2018, for normal academic work to resume

It would be recalled that On Monday, October 22, 2018, KNUST students led a demonstration at the school’s premises. The demonstration turned violent and students destroyed loads of properties on the campus.

The students had been demonstrating against alleged inhumane treatment by the university authorities.

In the light of the violence, the government intervened by closing down the university, dissolving the university council and in its place, setting up an interim governing council.

These steps by the government have been criticised heavily by some commentators and interest groups as an infringement on the independence of higher institutions of learning in Ghana.

The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) on Thursday, October 25, 2018, also directed the KNUST Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kwasi Obiri Danso, to handover temporarily to the Pro Vice-Chancellor as part of the emergency and interim measures.

Those measures were also criticised, but the education ministry held that they were necessary to restore order while preparing for a reopening of the university.

 

The governing council was also dissolved because the government holds it ultimately responsible for the failure to adequately manage internal matters of the university leading to a breakdown of law and order.

“The interim measures were necessary to protect lives and property,” said government.

But on Monday, October 29, 2018, government requested the Chancellor of the University, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to lead the next steps in reconstituting the University Council in accordance with the university’s statute and relevant laws.

 

 

Story: News DESK

 

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