General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Government has engaged with members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) with the view to resolving the students-management impasse at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Minister of Information-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, made this known in a statement issued yesterday titled: ‘Update on KNUST Impasse’.
Students of KNUST recently rioted after they had organized what was intended to be a peaceful protest over alleged brutalities against them by the school’s internal security and abuses by the university’s management last Monday.
The VC came under pressure to resign following the riots which reportedly witnessed the destruction of about 40 cars.
Government later moved in to dissolve the University’s Governing Council and appointed a seven-member Interim Council to manage the university for a three-month period.
That did not go down well with lecturers at KNUST who claimed the government did not consult them before carrying out the action.
They later declared an indefinite strike, effective Friday, October 26, 2018, after students had been asked to leave the campus.
But the statement by Mr. Oppong Nkrumah explained: “Government has subsequently engaged with UTAG and updated the Association accordingly.”
Thus, the lecturers have accordingly agreed to rescind their strike action and rather work in partnership with government to restore law and order at KNUST.
“UTAG has undertaken to restore services, cooperate in resolution efforts and encourage other stakeholders to join the resolution efforts,” according to the statement.
It said “in accordance with the earlier directive by the President of the Republic, the university is expected to re-open by November 8, 2018, for normal academic work to resume”.
It explained that “the Council was dissolved because government holds it ultimately responsible for the failure of adequately managing internal matters of the university leading to a breakdown of law and order. The interim measures were necessary to restore order while preparing for a reopening of the university.”
TEWU Condemns Destruction
Meanwhile, leadership of the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) has condemned the wanton destruction of properties belonging to KNUST and some individuals by the aggrieved students.
TEWU has therefore sympathized with its members at KNUST “whose properties were destroyed by the angry students in the demonstration on campus last week.”