Accra, Oct. 25, GNA – Government on Thursday
dissolved the Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology. (KNUST), and has constituted a seven-member Interim Council to work
to re-open the institution within 14 days for academic work to continue.
The Interim Council, chaired by Nana Effah
Apenteng, Paramount Chief of the Bompata Traditional Area, has a three-month
mandate to oversee the day-to-day running of the university and to investigate
all outstanding matters in order to expedite the re-opening of the university.
The move follows briefs and recommendations
made by the Education Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh after he led a
delegation, including National Security Ministry, Albert Kan Dapaah and the
Minister-Designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah to Kumasi, after a
demonstration on Monday, October 22, 2018, by students of the KNUST campus
Kumasi turned Violent leading to the destruction of property.
Subsequently, the university shut down
indefinitely upon the advice of the Regional Security Council.
According to a statement issued by the
Education Ministry, the view of the university management, as the delegation
observed, was that increasingly, there had been acts of wayward behaviour,
hooliganism and incidents of violence on campus, hence the need to take steps
to protect life and property.
The statement said the position of the student
leadership was that the issues went beyond the university’s policy to convert
all the halls of residence into mixed sex halls.
“It emerged further that the students felt
oppressed by some policies of the university authorities and that they lived in
fear. They believed they did not have
enough opportunities for conflict resolution and dialogue with the authorities,
resulting in a breakdown of trust between students and the authorities”.
The statement said Government’s immediate
priority was to expedite the re-opening of the university to ensure a smooth
return to academic work, and that the view was shared by the university’s
lecturers as well.
“Government is also mindful of an adverse
international image the country would suffer if the university remained closed
for a protracted period, especially given the substantial number of foreign
students at KNUST.
“However, government has been advised by the
Ashanti Regional Security Council that without a resolution of the relevant
matters, it would not be safe to re-open the university,” the statement said.
According to the Ministry, the Governing
Council was not in a position to review its own processes and decisions
affecting the student body to guarantee peace.
The statement stressed Government’s unreserved
condemnation of the damage to private and public property during the
disturbances, stating that those found culpable following investigations would
be surcharged accordingly.