Students saunter in as KNUST reopens

Some students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have made their way back to school for reopening. They were found going through arrival formalities to be re-registered for the semester. The University has been shut down since a student demonstration on Monday, October 22. The originally intended peaceful demonstration turned violent after some students went on a vandalism spree, smashing state-of-the-art property and setting others ablaze. They visited violence on the central administration block. An assessment later that day by the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) left it with no option than to ask all Ghanaian students to vacate campus.

Though the immediate cause of the demonstration was the manhandling of some students two days earlier by KNUST’s security personnel, according to the students, the conversion of some single sex halls of residence into mixed ones is said to be the remote cause. Property destroyed has been estimated at GH¢1.7 million with a decision yet to be taken as to who will bear the cost of repairs. Authorities had suspected some outsiders joined the violent demonstration. A subsequent inspection by Chancellor Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who was away when all the incidents happened, informed him to suspend all decisions bar the shutdown taken by stakeholders. [caption id="attachment_102985" align="alignnone" width="643"] Otumfuo Osei Tutut II inspected the extent of damage on Wed., October 31, 2018[/caption] He suspended a seven-member Interim Management Committee set up by government and was handed the sole responsibility to reconstitute the University’s Governing Council. Though misunderstanding between government and some stakeholders led to a delay in the reconstitution of the Council, it was successfully inaugurated on Tuesday, November 13. Ultimately, six new persons were sworn in to join a majority of old members on the Council. Otumfuo announced the cracking of whip as regards those who masterminded the violent march on Monday, October 22. [caption id="attachment_104412" align="alignnone" width="703"] Chancellor Otumfuo Osei Tutu II addressed the Council at its inauguration on Tuesday, November 13, 2018[/caption] He was palpably unhappy about the means of expression of the students’ dislike for some decisions taken by management. An immediate meeting by the new Council after the swearing-in of the new members saw the announcement of Friday, November 16 as reopening date with Monday, November 19 scheduled for resumption of lectures. By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana ]]>