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General News of Friday, 18 September 2020

Source: universnewsroom.com

PUB article that fights academic freedom has been withdrawn – UTAG National President

An article in the Public University Bill that allows the Educational Minister to, among other things, give directives on matters of policy to public universities has been withdrawn.

This is according to the National President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Samuel Bert Boadi Kusi.

In an interview with UniversNews, he indicated that the decision to withdraw that clause in the Bill was taken after a series of consultation with relevant stakeholders including the University of Ghana chapter of the Association.

Dr. Boadi Kusi said that Article 47 of the PUB, which has now taken from the Bill, was the element that sought to fight academic freedom.

This comes after the University of Ghana chapter of the Association held a press conference on Wednesday insisting on their call for the total withdrawal of the Bill.

The UTAG National President says that it is still holding other engagements to remove other parts of the Bill that may be regarded as inappropriate.

“I can tell you on authority that, as part of our engagements, our colleagues are aware, that clause has been deleted. There are several clauses that we have issues with, however, we are engaging and as a union, we don’t want to break our front,” he stated.

Article 47 of the PUB states that “The Minister may give directives on matters of policy through the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission to a public university and the public university shall comply. – In addition, the Bill states that the Minister of Education can direct or must approve the following: the establishment of any new academic units; and all financial matters, including the leasing or sale of university properties.”

About the Bill

The Bill, when passed, will give the government power to appoint the majority of members of the University Council, control the finances of the university and determine the allocation of funds.

The Bill also gives the President the power to dissolve the University Council.

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