General News of Saturday, 27 October 2018
NDC presidential aspirant hopeful, Sylvester Mensah has said that, the government did not consult adequately before attempting to solve the KNUST crisis.
According to him, the hasty attempt by government to resolve the situation has further complicated the issues especially with the setting up of the Interim Council.
He said, “I suggest government must review their decision to set up the Interim Council given that it is illegal and not borne out of consultation”
In a press release making rounds on social media, Mr. Mensah is seen making very strong opinions on the KNUST crisis
Read full release below
I cannot resist but share my pains about happenings at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) leading to its indefinite closure, dissolution of the University Council and now the lecturer’s protestations.
Sadder it is, because all the mess we are enduring now is preventable. The university authorities and students leaders could have prevented earlier grievances from degenerating into violent actions and the concomitant consequences.
We cannot, however, address the problems adequately if we do not get to the root of it and effectively engage all the relevant stakeholders involved.
Change in every human institution requires effective change management approaches to address the human elements adequately to reduce, if not eliminate, incidences like what we are observing at KNUST.
One cannot ignore the fact that even though students’ rights abuse, arrest and brutalization are raised as the cause of the rather destructive demonstration on campus, that could only be the most immediate causes. How various ongoing reforms are being driven may be the tap root of the entire conflict between students and authorities.
This is why the KNUST authorities, Ministry of Education, government and other relevant institutions should look beyond the immediate cause and address the issue from a broader perspective.
The turning of single-gender halls into mixed halls for instance, is government policy as indicated by the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education. Consequently, if its implementation in KNUST is creating a challenge for the Vice Chancellor, he alone should not be made to look like the cause of the problem, even though he owns the ultimate responsibility with the Council to ensure the smooth running of the university.
Government did not consult adequately before attempting to solve the problem. Hence they only ended up further complicated the issues with the setting up of the Interim Council. This has put lecturers on another protestation path.
I suggest government must review their decision to set up the Interim Council given that it is illegal and not borne out of consultation. They must find the most constructive way forward as soon as possible for the students to return to continue with their studies in peace, devoid of any intimidation and abuse.