General News of Monday, 29 October 2018
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, has blamed the government for the escalating tensions at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, Mr. Fuseini “there is a level of parochialism in the handling of this matter.”
The MP said government could have taken control of the matter when the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the school petitioned President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo over the conversion of the school’s single-sex halls to mixed halls.
Instead, the government and the school’s management approached the matter half-heartedly, he said.
“…The [President Akufo-Addo] had told us, when the students petitioned him, that he was handling the matter. The President said that. So why did it come to this point?”
“From the students to the lecturers to the Education Ministry to the Presidency, there were some half steps taken; some tokenism. I don’t think this problem was beyond government. I just think that government was lackadaisical in dealing with the problem and that is my view.”
The KNUST Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, has been asked to step aside amid accusations of political interference in the running of the school.
The government informed the Vice-Chancellor to hand over to the Pro Vice-Chancellor.
An interim committee was tasked to manage KNUST after the school was shut down indefinitely last Tuesday following violent student protests.
On Monday, members of the Senior Staff Association, the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA), the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), and the Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, staged a demonstration against the dissolution of the University’s Governing Council.
UTAG and GAUA are striking over the matter and insist that the government was acting arbitrarily when it dissolved the council.
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, criticized the dissolution, saying the management of KNUST was being politicized.
“You are politicizing the council, and that is dangerous because you are going to give political actors the chance to go into universities and do what they wish and that is dangerous for our democracy and very dangerous for all of us… when you put in the interim committee, and they find out that after all the university council did not act illegally, what do you do when you have already dissolved them? You don’t even have the power to do that. Within their statutes, they have enough provisions to deal with this.”