General News of Monday, 29 October 2018
Government has requested Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), to lead a process to reconstitute the University’s Governing Council following a widespread rejection of an interim council announced by the government.
The new Council is expected to be reconstituted by Friday, November 2, 2018, and will take over from the Interim Governing Council, according to a press release issued in Accra by the Information Ministry.
“Government has subsequently engaged with UTAG and updated the Association accordingly. UTAG has undertaken to restore services, cooperate in resolution efforts and encourage other stakeholders to join resolution efforts,” the release signed by the Information Minister designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said.
On Monday, October 22, 2018, KNUST students led a demonstration at the school’s premises. The demonstration turned violent and students destroyed property on the campus.
The students had been demonstrating against alleged inhumane treatment by the university authorities.
In the light of the violence, the Government intervened by closing down the University, dissolving the University Council and in its place, setting up an Interim Governing Council.
These steps by the government have been criticised heavily by some commentators and interest groups as an infringement on the independence of higher institutions of learning in Ghana.
The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) on Thursday, October 25, 2018, also directed the KNUST Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kwasi Obiri Danso to handover temporarily to the Pro Vice-Chancellor as part of the emergency and interim measures.
Those measures have also been criticised, but the Education Ministry holds that they are necessary to restore order while preparing for a reopening of the University.
The Governing Council was also dissolved because Government holds it ultimately responsible for the failure to adequately manage internal matters of the University leading to a breakdown of law and order.
“The interim measures were necessary to protect lives and property,” says government.
On Monday, October 29, 2018, Government requested the Chancellor of the University, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to lead the next steps in reconstituting the University Council in accordance with the University’s statute and relevant laws.
The Council is expected to be reconstituted by Friday, November 2, 2018.
The reconstituted Council will then take over from the Interim Governing Council.
The University is expected to re-open by November 8, 2018, for normal academic work to resume.