President Nana Akufo-Addo has responded to persons who have criticized the new Public Universities Bill.
Critics have said that the Bill, which will soon be laid before Parliament, is an attempt by government to suppress academic freedom.
However, President Akufo-Addo has described such suggestions as mischievous.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra on Monday, the President mentioned that the Bill was focused on making the administration of public universities more efficient.
“Consultations on the public university’s bill has been completed and will be laid before Parliament this year. Amongst others, this will bring all the public universities under a common law, thereby making administration of public universities less cumbersome, and more efficient. The flimsy allegations being perpetrated that the Bill will undermine academic freedom are deliberate mischief making and disingenuous,” he said
The President further added that the bill “amply demonstrates the cardinal importance of the principles of academic freedom and the development of all institutions of learning worth their salt.”
Several criticisms about the bill were raised some months ago after some academics and members of the opposition raised concerns about some of the clauses in the bill.
Among the clauses they had challenges with were that the President of Ghana will appoint 5 members out of the 9 members that will form the university council as well as the chairman of the council.
Also, the draft bill gives the president the power to dissolve the university council which will now have the power to appoint a chancellor.
The Bill also gives effect to the University Council to control the finances of the university and determine the allocation of funds.
President Akufo-Addo, whilst at the school, cut sod for the construction of an AstroTurf with a 500 VIP seating area.
Story by: Jeffrey Nyabor with additional information from citinewsroom.com