Parliament begins process to amend University of Ghana Act

Joy News can exclusively confirm that a private members’ motion has been filed in Parliament seeking the removal of the restriction clause in the Act establishing the University of Ghana, Legon.

The clause empowers the University to restrict the use of its facilities by non-members of the university.

This motion will thus compel the minister of education to re-introduce the Act for a possible removal of the clause and pave way for easy access to the university’s campus .

According Joy News’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Elton John Brobbey, the private members’ motion which was filed last week, is seeking to amend Section 3 of the University of Ghana Act 806.

If this is done, members of the public will have free access to the university’s campus. Section 3 of the Act which was passed in 2010, makes provision for only members of the university to have free access and privileges of the university. Currently, non-members are not entitled to have access to the school.

Last week the university enforced the provision but the implementation of the policy was completely derailed by opposition from motorists, including some parents of pupils at the University Basic School. The issue also gained prominence in Parliament when the matter was raised on the floor.

The motion expected to be heard this week, is proposing a repeal of the restriction section.  But Elton reported that, even before debate starts on the motion the house appears divided on the matter.

Majority chief whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak is in support of the amendment to the Act “to best serve the public and the country”.

“The University [of Ghana] is supposed to serve the public…[but] with the implementation of just this Clause Three; it tells us that we need to be careful and if this is reintroduced, believe me there will be many more clauses in this Act that I will seek (sic) its amendment because, I think that it can easily be abused”.

Meanwhile, ranking member on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Joe Osei Owusu says the approach is “totally wrong”.

“The University should be able to regulate who comes in and through what means…It is a known fact that there’s huge security challenge to the University; criminals because of the free access, coming in and [going] out, attacking students, stealing from their hostels and their lecture rooms.

He argued the University must be given the powers to restrict who uses its facilities. 

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