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General News of Friday, 26 October 2018


KNUST saga: Vice-Chancellors Ghana unhappy with government's ‘rush’ decision

A member of the Vice Chancellors Ghana says they are not in support of the dissolution of the Governing Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Prof. John Owusu Gyapong described the manner in which the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, has been treated by the government as a “rush” and unpleasing and is calling for the right things to be done.

“We think things have not been done properly and they are standing which the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST in this difficult circumstance,” he said.

Government dissolved the Council and created a new one on Thursday following violent protests by some students of the university.

The new Council is expected to investigate circumstances that led to the protests, decide the fate of the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso and see to the reopening of the university in 14 days.

This seven-member Council, however, did not include representatives from the University Teachers Association (UTAG), the Vice-Chancellor or management of the university.

They responded with an immediate strike on Friday and have said they will remain resolute with their decision until government does the right thing.

VCG, which seems to agree with Prof. Gyapong who is also Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, said structures have been provided in the acts of the various universities to address issues of that nature and until those rules have been exhausted, government has no place making decisions for any university.

On the issue of management not being sensitive to the plight of students following complaints of abuse by security personnel on campus, he said no complaint was made to the Governing Council.

They, therefore, cannot be held responsible for an issue they had no idea about.

“Our checks indicate that in recent times that the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) have not even tabled any issue at the University Council for discussion.

“So there is a lot of noise out there and I am not sure where we are headed but we believe that this decision to dissolve the Governing Council is probably a rushed decision,” he added.

Prof. Gyapong said had government allowed the council to meet on Friday as scheduled, things would have been different.

Normally, the VCG steps in when UTAG is unhappy or are embarking on a strike, but in this instance, he says the group’s hands are tied.

“Apart from the fact that it affects our own, we do not see head or tail out of it. We are being very patient and we would want to speak with representatives of government but bottom line, we are completely unhappy with the situation,” he said.

From the way things are happening, Prof. Gyapong said, he will not be surprised if lecturers in all 10 universities declare a strike on Monday.

He stressed government’s move was “ill-advised.”