KNUST SRC begs gov’t to maintain old governing council to avert deepened crisis

The Students Representative Council of KNUST has appealed to the government to reverse the dissolution of the university’s governing council, which has sparked threats of strike by some key stakeholders. Government on Wednesday dissolve the 17-member governing council following last Monday’s violent protest that has since 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. These developments and the manner government responded to the crisis, according to the Students Representative Council of KNUST, could impact negatively on academics at the university. A statement dated October 26 and signed by the SRC president Kelvin Sah said while they appreciate government’s intension resolve the impasse, the agitation by the stakeholders could thwart that efforts. “We believe your good intensions may not be fruitful with these important stakeholders agitated and will even further harm academic activities on campus,” it said in the statement to the Ministry of Education. It also indicated that the concerns and grievances of the students that triggered the protest leading to the crisis have been resolved with the management of the university led by Prof. Obiri Danso. According to the student body, it had extensive engagement on October 23 with the University management at which reached an “amicable solution” to the impasse. “Almost all our concerns were duly addressed,” the statement said. It said the SRC and the university management have scheduled another meeting to deliberate on “those [issues] we could not agree on”, which it said bothered on conversion of single sex halls to a mixed one. “We have scheduled had scheduled a date to continue negotiations, particularly the matter regarding the hall conversion,” the statement said. On the back of these, the SRC wants the government to reconsider its action, saying, “We hope you would consider our request so as to allow peaceful and smooth resumption of academic activities”.
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By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana]]>