General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
The Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, will be reinstated on yet-to-be reconstituted Governing Council this Friday.
This is among the major outcomes of a meeting between the government and the Chancellor of KNUST, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as well and some stakeholders at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum on Citi TV’s Point of View on Monday said until the reinstatement of Prof. Obiri-Danso, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the school will be in charge of the day-to-day affairs of the school.
The National President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana, Dr. Eric Opoku, who had earlier hinted of the reinstatement of the Vice Chancellor on Eyewitness News said the lecturers are excited about the decision, and are pleased that the Chancellor of the school is now leading efforts to reconstitute the school’s council and address all challenges that plunged it into a crisis.
He further announced that the KNUST chapter of UTAG which was striking over the exclusion of Prof. Obiri Danso from the school’s council will now back down and return to the classroom.
“We are certainly going to call off the strike first on KNUST campus… The position of the National UTAG to encourage all the other campuses to solidarize with KNUST is going to end. We are happy with the decisions that have been made today.”
“Prof. Obiri Danso is being restored on the council….[and] the government is going to replace its reps on the KNUST council and all other unions which are represented on the council are supposed to present their reps and by Friday, the new council will be reconstituted and then IMC ends,” he said.
The government constituted an interim University council last week after it closed down KNUST over a violent student protest. It gave the council a three-month tenure to work towards addressing the impasse between students and the university management while making sure the University reopens before November 8, 2018.
The new council, which had seven members, was without the Vice Chancellor of KNUST but had the student body represented.
This generated a lot of controversies and caused agitation among various stakeholders including the lecturers, administrators, senior staff and education workers of KNUST with the lecturers and administers declaring an indefinite strike over the matter.
They insisted that they will not return to work until the Vice Chancellor was added to the council.
The government however surprisingly announced a day after the strike that it had added a representative each of UTAG and TEWU to the interim council.
Reports later suggested that both associations had rejected the offer from the government.
The aggrieved stakeholders, therefore, staged a demonstration on campus on Monday, October 29, 2018, as government issued a statement indicating that it had ordered the embattled Vice Chancellor to vacate his office at the University and hand over to the Pro Vice-Chancellor.
Later reports revealed that the Chancellor of KNUST, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was not happy about the development and expressed his sentiments at the closed-door meeting with stakeholders at the palace on Friday afternoon.
The government statement after the meeting said Otumfuo was now going to lead processes for the reconstitution of a new council by Friday to immediately take over from the government’s interim governing council.
Dr. Eric Opoku who welcomed the development said “this is the right thing to do,” especially as there has been proper deliberation with all stakeholders to have the issues amicably resolved.
“The ultimate thanks go to Otumfuo Osei Tutu for taking things in his hands as Chancellor of the University and intervening in this matter. We are happy with it and we think that this is right thing to do that through proper deliberation, issues are resolved amicably. I think this is a positive outcome,” he said.
“I know that once the new council is in place, they will take steps to address all the issues which are yet to be addressed,” he added.