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General News of Tuesday, 6 November 2018


Stay away from KNUST saga – TEWU to government

Members of the Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU) have asked the Akufo-Addo-led government to stay away from the happenings at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and allow the university’s structures to deal with its own problems.

Mr Charles Arthur, President of the KNUST Chapter of TEWU, said the members of the Governing Council were duly elected and, so, even if their work is unsatisfactory, they cannot be asked to step aside until another election.

The government of Ghana has said having the old representatives of the dissolved Governing Council of the school serve on the newly-reconstituted council, will amount to the old members being “judges in their own court”, since it is the new council that will look into the affairs of the old one, which led to a violent demonstration on campus a couple of weeks ago.

The reconstitution efforts led by the Chancellor of the university, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has been stalled by a disagreement between the government on the one hand, and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) on the other.

A scheduled inauguration of the new council on Friday, 2 November, was suspended over government’s failure to submit names of its four appointees on time. The names were later released on Saturday.

The government also insisted that the unions change their representative on the council but that was met with strong opposition by UTAG and TEWU.

Addressing the press on Monday, 5 November 2018, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said: “Individuals who sat on the old council ought not to be on the new council”.

He explained: “The old council is a party to the impasse. Just as the actions of students, student leaders and the school management will be subjects of the full investigation when the university is reopened, so will the actions and inactions of the old council be the subject of that investigation. The specific persons who constituted that council cannot, therefore, preside over the matters in which their own decisions and conduct will be a subject”, he told the press.

But speaking in an interview on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM with sit-in host Katakyie Obeng Mensah on Tuesday, 6 November, Mr Arthur said: “The university has its own arrangement and structures to deal with some of these issues and, so, the government must stay away for these structures to work.

“The Governing Council members were duly elected and the Council meets four times every year to review the work done so far in the year. If you are dissatisfied with the work, you cannot simply remove them because they were elected just as the president of the republic cannot be removed by people who don’t like him until there is an election.”