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General News of Sunday, 15 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Education Minister backs conversion of Katanga, Conti to mixed halls

Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has backed the decision by management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to convert the two male halls of the University into mixed halls.

Though the decision by management has been met with stiff opposition by members of the University (Katanga) and Unity Halls, authorities have maintained that the move is to give 50 percent of the space to female students.

The conversion, according to management, will also increase female enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education as well as increase the female population in the school.

The rivalry between both halls has been one of the underlying factors that prompted management’s decision to convert the halls.

Citi News has learnt that some first-year students have already been assigned to the Katanga hall.

Dr Opoku Prempeh who was speaking at the 52nd Congregation Ceremony of the University says he fully supports the decision.

“Recently in Unity Hall, there was a demonstration because the University had attempted to make it a mixed hall. I received the protest notes but my conscience told me if there is any hall that can be made a mixed hall it is of course of Unity Hall… If we want to create an equal, level playing field we cannot insist that Katanga or Unity or any hall should be reserved for a particular group. So Katanga, take the women, be bold.”

‘Old students fight conversion’

The Alumni of two halls of residence at the KNUST Unity and University Halls, have protested the conversion, describing it as an attempt to promote a culture of silence at the school.

Speaking to Citi News, the Greater Accra Press secretary of the University Hall alumni, Raymond Laud, called on the Chancellor of the University, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to intervene to prevent what they describe as a misplaced priority by the management of the University.

“We think that the reasons they are giving are not tenable. We know that they just want to promote a culture of silence on campus. The University Authority wants to have their way in everything they do.

“We are appealing to parents not to send their female wards to Katanga. We are appealing to the powers that be, President Akufo-Addo and the Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to step in and call the Vice Chancellor to order.”