Gov’t on way to ridicule again – Legon UTAG Prez on draft Public Universities Bill

The President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) at the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Harry Agbanu, has questioned the motive for a draft Public Universities Bill when there is no problem with the current law.

Dr Agbanu said the new bill would be “resisted” at all cost.

He acknowledged that the current development is related to recent happenings at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), which witnessed stand-offs between the students and the Vice Chancellors.

Dr. Harry Agganu told 3FM’s morning show host Winston Amoah that the draft Public Universities Bill is “ridiculous” since UTAG’s position on the University Councils is not going to be permanent while Students’ Representative Council position is going to be rather permanent.

UTAG position is expected to be on rotational basis, according to the Bill.

Some of the proposals in the Bill grant; a) the President power to dissolve the University Council; b) Allow the University Council to appoint a Chancellor and c) Allow unions to appoint only one representative on a rotational system to serve on the Council at each cycle.

Per the new draft bill  “a governing body of a public university shall consist of 9 members appointed by the president including a chair person nominated  by the president, the vice chancellor and four other persons nominated by the President, one of whom shall be a woman one representative of the registered unions in the university on rotational basis, one representative of the university convocation elected by convocation, one representative of the students of the university represented by the students union , and one representative from the national council for tertiary education who shall be a non -voting member”.

The Bill also gives the President the power to dissolve and reconstitute the governing council of a public university in cases of emergencies.

The President is also given the power to appoint an interim council to operate for a stated period.

Dr Agbanu said because of what happened at KNUST, government thinks it must have a hold of everything in public universities school, not hiding the fact that they would resist it.

UTAG has therefore vowed to make its comment known.

“We will leave it with Parliament to decide whether they should pass it and then they will come back to the campuses to implement the Bill and that is where they would be ridiculed once more as they were ridiculed at KNUST.”

By Richard Bright Addo||Ghana

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