General News of Sunday, 17 March 2019
The Senior Vice President of policy think-tank, IMANI Africa says the leadership of the University of Education, Winneba are to blame for the many challenges the institution is facing.
Kofi Bentil believes the only solution, therefore, if government wants an end to the problem, is to get rid of all of them – the Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council.
“Things have gotten from bad to worse. If you have a situation where the leadership of an institution like that has ended up in this kind of catastrophic chaos I think all of they must go
“I know there are rules and regulations about appointments etcetera but I don’t see how a durable solution can be found for that Institution if the present leadership remains including the governing council,” he said on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday.
The UEW has been closed down indefinitely following violent students protests Thursday.
This follows a standoff between the students and the Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Professor Anthony Afful-Broni over the dismissal of three lecturers.
The principal of the College of Languages Education at Ajumako Prof. Ephraim Avea Nsoh was sacked because he had not been cooperating with other management members.
The local President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Frimpong Kakyire Duku, was sacked after initiating legal action against his employer “without any cause” and without exhausting internal procedures.
Angry students went on a rampage and smashed windows and glass doors of buildings on the Winneba campus of the university demanding their lecturers’ immediate reinstatement.
But it all started when Professor Mawutor Avoke took office as Vice Chancellor for the University in October 2015 replacing Professor Akwasi Asabere Ameyaw whose tenure of office ended in September that year.
His appointment was opposed by people within and outside of the University regardless of the fact that he had served two terms as Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
The Member of Parliament for the area Alexander Afenyo Markin was believed to be the one behind this opposition to Prof Avoke’s appointment.
He explained that the new VC had been involved in the governance problems in the school as far back as 2013.
Mr Bentil who had hoped that the MP’s involvement will sanitise situations has been left disappointed.
Now, he wants the Education Ministry and President Akufo-Addo to take steps to clean the stables.
“Clear the Governing Council and put a new set of people to fix this and clear the top hierarchy. Sometimes cleaning the stables is a good idea,” he said.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey
However, the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Emmanuel Akwetey, who was also on the show doesn’t quite agree with Mr Bentil.
He said clearing might be a little extreme but wants whatever is causing the recurring problems at the school investigated.
“Winneba is not the only university we have across the regions, why is persistently in this crisis. Is it political interference, which is not given the scope, how do they chose the leaders…there have been cases of who was fired and who was appointed and what mode and so on.
“But given the dismissals which have triggered this, I think that probably they also ought to look into the style…universities are not like secondary schools and you cannot fire people [anyhow].
“If it requires that some more effective experience is needed to bring the university back to full business, that should be pursued,” Dr Akwetey said.