General News of Monday, 29 October 2018
More details are emerging about what students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) students say is a culture of abuse and oppression by university authorities.
In a press statement, student leaders of University Hall say, the university’s Dean of Students called them ‘dim-witted’ after they sued the university over the conversion of single-sex halls to unisex.
The university remains closed following riotous behaviour by the students during what was meant to be a peaceful protest against student brutalities by the school’s internal security and abuses by the university’s management last Monday.
The statement said the University Hall executives, duly elected, were removed from office and dislodged from their campus residence following the decision to go to court.
University Hall executives detailed four incidents of recurrent abuses against students including how the university’s campus security speaking through walki-talkis referred to the students as ‘cockroaches’.
This happened when campus internal security on the orders of ‘SS Justice Nawa’ beat up a student, Christopher Sarkodie leading to his hospitalization.
In KNUST, continuing students’ right to freedom of movement is severely restricted at University Hall, the leaders noted.
Students ‘no matter how important or harmless their agenda…were denied entry into the hall’. That included entry for church services, sports or buying food at the Hall’s food court, Sanbra Kitchen.
Since Monday’s violent protest, the Student Representative Council (SRC) have said, it has held talks with management leading to several concessions to the students.
According to an SRC statement, the student leaders at University Hall who were removed from office are to be reinstated and their residential status on campus restored.
The university management has also agreed to pick up the medical bills of students who have been brutalised by the campus security, the statement claimed.
The Vice-Chancellor Prof Obiri Danso is under pressure to resign while the governing council has, not without controversy, been removed.
But their replacement, an interim council with a four-month mandate, is facing a credibility crisis after the Kumasi chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) declared strike.
They have demanded the reinstatement of the dissolved governing council and have the backing of the SRC as well as the university’s official alumni body.