General News of Thursday, 25 October 2018
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is incensed with government over the dissolution of the Governing Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
That is not all, the lecturers do not understand why the president of the Student’s Representative Council – a student – has been included on the council but no lecturer or management member of the university was made a member.
National President of the Association, Dr Eric Opoku says “this is the most disappointing action taken by government. We are appalled and surprised by what is happening,” and will not accept the decision lying down.
Dr Eric Opoku sees development as a travesty and tragedy to the teaching and management body of the university who he believes deserve a representation on the newly constituted council.
The old governing council was dissolved following a meeting with stakeholders after violent protests by students of the university on Monday.
The new board is expected to investigate what led to protests and prescribe solutions in three months. The university is also expected to reopen in 14 days. The fate of the Vice-Chancellor will also be determined by the new council.
But the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kwasi Obiri Danso who has been accused by the students of mismanaging the school was not included in the new list.
The SRC president was, much to the disappointment of UTAG, who was also left out of the new council.
Dr Opoku said the non-representation of the lecturers and management body on the Council smacks of disrespect and unnecessarily empowers the students.
“Government decides that it is going to set up an interim management committee, puts the SRC president there forgets about other stakeholders and the Vice-Chancellor himself? This is surprising.
“I do not think that it is fair to even dream of setting up a committee, setting the council aside and you put an SRC president who is a student for God’s sake to be on the council,” he added.
Dr Opoku said UTAG suspected that something of this sort would happen when politicians started making comments on the issue and that their comments lend credence to government’s actions.
For him, the creation of a new council is needless because the old one could have achieved the same objectives.
“We are surprised by this development and UTAG is not going to take kindly to this. We think what is happening is unfair to the vice chancellor.
“Students that we teach, you put them who themselves are complicit in what is happening on KNUST campus on a council to investigate who? And you out the chief executive aside,” he queried.
UTAG thinks government has been unfair to them, management of the school and the V-C.
“We think this is unfair. Government has virtually spat in the face of lecturers in this country. And I think that lecturers as major stakeholders in what happens in every university in the country have been taken for granted.
“If everybody is going to bend backwards and do everything to favour the students, then we lectures are going to advise ourselves,” he threatened.