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General News of Wednesday, 7 August 2019


Government's ‘rambo-style’ renaming of universities inappropriate – Apaak

Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee in Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak has described the process used by the government to rename some publics universities in the country as inappropriate.

According to him, the lack of broader consultation in renaming some of these institutions could cause future problems.

The President recently renamed the Wa Campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS) after Simon D. Dombo and the Navorongo Campus after C.K Tedem, both stalwarts of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo political tradition.

Both institutions had also been made autonomous prior to their renaming.

But Dr. Clement Apaak who is also the Member of Parliament for Builsa South and a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress thinks these recent actions of government are an affront to education in Ghana as a broader consultation would have enabled a peaceful consensus on the matter.

“This was not part of the original bill. Because of the way it was done, these things can be done by consensus; [for the school] to be named after Dombo. It could have been done in a neater way that will illicit support from all of us but when you do this Rambo style [renaming] [because] you have the numbers so you can do what we want, [it’s not appropriate].

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government majority in Parliament used their numbers to win the vote to have the names of the two institutions changed last week, as the Minority protested that the name change had been brought in through the “back door.”

The Minority side also decried a lack of consultations on the matter.

But the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh justified the name change.

“When you talk about stakeholders, the University Council approved. It is the University Council that nominates institutions’ [names],” he said.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh also reminded that previous name changes have been done without consultation.

“For the Thomas Sankara interchange, what was the consultation that was done for that? What consultation was done before KNUST was named after Kwame Nkrumah?”