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Politics of Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Public Universities’ Bill dangerous to progress - Agbana


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Deputy National Youth Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Adams Agbana has described the Public Universities’ Bill pending before parliament for consideration as dangerous.

The bill seeks to harmonise the governance, administration and accountability structures of public universities.

But Adams Agbana says it is "very dangerous to the progress to the educational sector of Ghana”.

He first raised concerns over Section 5 of the bill which addresses the composition of the Governing Body of a public university.

He indicated that a careful study of the section has revealed that Alumni and Industry Partners, who hitherto had seats on Council as per the exiting Acts of the various public universities are no longer represented.

Also, Section 5(1)(a) suggests that the President must nominate the
chairperson of Council, which is at variance with article 195(3) of the
Constitution of the Republic of Ghana which provide as follows:
Article 195(3).

In his view, the president will have majority control of the council because he is putting together a 13 member council and out of that, the presidency is seeking to appoint the majority of the council members.

On the issue of students representation, he said the bill only makes room for only 1 students’ representative although there are two (2) categories of students, i.e., undergraduate, and postgraduate students.

He underscored the need for the government to reconsider this position and give a fair representation of students on the council.

The NDC officer said the bill will curtail academic freedom, promote interference form the government and intimidation.

When passed, the bill is also expected to give the government the appointing power to select the majority of members on the universities’ councils.

The bill will then give the councils the authority to appoint and sack officials of public universities.

This, Agbana says is evil and could lead to chaotic situations in our public universities.

He added: "The Bill also provides for a Centralised Admissions Platform even though there is no proof that the decentralised system currently in operation is defective.”

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