General News of Monday, 26 March 2018
The Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS), is threatening to boycott lectures and embark on nationwide demonstrations by Tuesday [March 27, 2018], if the government does not respond favorably to the concerns lecturers have raised about the Technical Universities (Amendment) Bill 2017.
The Bill, which is currently before Parliament, according to the students, seeks to cede the management of the Technical Universities to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE).
The lecturers contend that the bill in its current form undermines the autonomy of technical Universities, a position that the students support.
The students had previously indicated their dissatisfaction with the Bill at a press conference, during which they described the move as an “oppressive and dictatorial management of tertiary institutions.”
The President of the Union, Kamal-Deen Mohammed, in Citi News interview said, “The battle just started because we will never sit down for this to happen. So we are waiting till Tuesday, if they fail to respond, there will be boycotting of lectures and nationwide demonstrations.”
At a previous press conference, Kamal-Deen Mohammed stated that, “Since the conversion of the polytechnics to technical universities in September 2016, these institutions are still running the same programs as they were when they were polytechnics, and have not been given clearance by the National Council for Technical Education (NCTE) to begin offering a straightaway 4-year degree program. This has largely affected the technical universities and is contributing to low patronage by applicants…In spite of the crippling but avoidable challenge affecting technical universities, government intends to worsen the case of these institutions with unnecessary sections in the technical universities (amendment) bill 2017.”
Technical University students on a nationwide boycott
In 2017, the Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS), declared a nationwide boycott of lectures in all technical universities and polytechnics to protest government’s failure to constitute governing councils for the various Technical Universities.
The absence of governing councils had left graduates of 2015/2016 academic year without certificates to apply for jobs or further their education.