The Chancellor of KNUST, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been given up to Friday to reconstitute the University’s governing council to take over from the interim one controversially put together by government in the wake of the crisis that led to the closure of the school.
The replacement of the 17-member council with a seven-member interim council last week triggered waves of strike threats from stakeholders who kicked against the decision they have described as threat to academic freedom.
The seeming deepening of the KNUST crisis arising out of the establishment of the interim council, on Monday forced government to requested the chancellor to reconstitute the university’s council by Nov. 2. to take over from the interim one which was given three-month tenure.
Accordingly, the University which was shut down on Wednesday October 22, will now be reopened on November 8, 2018, a statement issued by the Ministry of Information Monday evening announced.
“Government has subsequently engaged with UTAG and updated the association accordingly to restore services, corporate in resolution efforts and encourage other stakeholders to join resolution efforts,” the statement signed by Minister designate Kojo Oppong Nkruamah said.
Government last Wednesday dissolved the 17-member governing council following last the October 22 violent protest that caused a shutdown of the university.
A seven-member interim council was consequently put in place with the mandate to establish the cause of the incident and resolve same as well as ensure the reopening of the school within 14 days.
The move by the government triggered criticism, with some critics including the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) questioning the composition of the council.
It on Friday threatened not to accept decisions by the interim council and announced an indefinite strike to push government to back down what it described as interference in academic freedom.
Administrators at the KNUST branch of Ghana Association of University Administrators also announced withdrawal of their service in solidarity with UTAG.
On Monday October 29, Government asked the Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso to handover temporarily to the Pro Vice-Chancellor as part of the emergency and interim measures.
The embattled Vice Chancellor who is at the centre of the violent protest by students of the University was accused of highhandedness when it comes to students affairs.
It is quite sketchy if the decision to let Prof. Obiri-Danso recuse himself was recommended by the interim council constituted by the Education Ministry to investigation the cause of the violent demonstration among others.
The government explained the 17 member council was dissolved because it would ultimately be held responsible for any failure should it fail to “adequately manage internal matters of the university” leading to a breakdown of law and order.
It said the interim measures “were necessary to protect lives and property”.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana