General News of Tuesday, 13 February 2018
The amendment of the Act establishing Technical Universities has the tendency to “distort the stable and enduring governance processes, structure, culture and administration of such public institutions and must therefore be withdrawn”.
A joint statement signed by Mr Peter Awini Asiedu, Chairman of the Technical University Teacher’s Association and issued in collaboration with the Technical University Senior Administrators of Ghana (TUSAAG), Technical University Administrators Association of Ghana (TUAAG) and Technical University Workers Association during a press briefing on Monday said.
The Technical University Act, 2016 (Act 922) came into force in 2016 but in 2017, the Minister for Education laid the amendment Bill before parliament.
“The move by the Minister was a smack of bad faith and show of power,” it said.
The proposed amendment according to them sought to grant more powers to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) to perform functions which fell under the purview of the Governing Councils, the academic board and the principal officers of Universities in Ghana.
According to them, should the amendment of sections 24, 26, 27, 42, of the Act become visible and passed in its current form, the NCTE may take over the functions of all the councils adding ,the governing councils of the Technical Universities would ultimately become moribund.
They described the action by the Minister for Education as one in bad faith, “The Minister for Education is subtly seeking to position the NCTE to superintend Technical Universities akin to authority of the Ghana Education Service…this state of affairs is aberration of culture and administration of universities in Ghana”.
“Already the NCTE secretariat has inflicted severe damage on the relationship between Technical Universities and the NCTE and the strained relations at present coupled with this action of amendment will not augur well for the future of technical education in Ghana”.
The statement said the NCTE seemed to be sabotaging or frustrating efforts by the universities to even mount various degree programmes although clearance had been issued by the National Accreditation board.
The statement described as discriminatory the action by the Minister of Education citing the University of Professional Studies and the University of Allied sciences as most recent examples, “why do you subjectively select to have section 24 of the Act 922 amended by Parliament while similar provision establishing analogous institutions remained untouched”.
The group had already taken the matter to court seeking the court to challenge the authority of the NCTE, said “We strongly believe that only the first schedule of Act 922 may be amended to increase the list of Technical Universities to absorb the rest based on the conversion criteria.
The group later presented a copy of the joint statement to the Western regional Coordinating Council which was received by the Deputy Western Region Minister, Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi.
She assured the group that the statement would be forwarded to the Office of the President for the appropriate action, “You are lucky we have a listening government and I believe this issue will be critically looked at to get to the desired conclusion”.