If at all there’s anything that the KNUST protest by students has been able to achieve, it will be that Government now has more space to interfere in the dealings of the school.
That is strict Academic Freedom Violation to say the least. Mind you all the people who will be appointed to fill any portfolio in the management structure of the school will be cronies of the government.
We shouldn’t just look at issues on the face value. Indeed, for every action, there’s a corresponding reaction. While Prof. Obiri Danso may have had his own flaws in his style of leadership, I believe the dissolution of the governing council, the establishment of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and those who constituted it, and now the ‘sacking’ of the VC SEEMS to only to tell of how government has been itching to take advantage of the situation to breach due process and sidestep the Statutes and structure of KNUST as stipulated by the act which establishes the school.
In any case, what is the VC being sacked for? For a violent demonstration indirectly caused by a decision he took together with members of council and was duly ‘ratified’ and supported by the Minister of Education and Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education??
Even if we accept that the entire Governing Council failed to keep their house in order, for which reason the students did what they did, why put members of the old Governing Council on the IMC?? Let’s even forget about the SRC president because regardless of everything, we still need the input of students(that is the main reason they protested in the first place), what is the Pro VC doing there?? Is she not as complicit in the whole impasse as the rest of the other members of the former governing council?
Sadly, students have been used as damage control for this viscious attempt by government to manipulate the happenings in our Universities. We saw it in UEW now in KNUST. If you cannot read in between the lines, then the situation is even worse than I thought.
Colleges of Education have been in the news since forever crying for government to constitute their Governing Councils and inaugurate same. That has not happened but in ‘Super-Sonic-Speed’ government is able to constitute an IMC to manage KNUST.
Now, in as much as it is quite regrettable that members of UTAG, TEWU, GAUA and all the other stakeholders who are now crying foul did not rise to the occasion to advise the VC on some of the decisions he took and the repercussions thereof. However, I believe its not too late. Afterall it is only a fool who doesn’t change his mind when he realizes the apparent flaws of his earlier position.
They should fight to ensure that government steps back in line and allows due process to be followed. Otherwise very soon, if care is not taken, KNUST will be another one of the many para-statals which have been left to inefficiencies and incompetence for the polarised overpoliticization of their activities. Because I tell you, if it has happened in the Electoral Commission, it won’t be too much work to happen in the Universities. Afterall, anyone can put his people anywhere after winning elections.
Stop Attacks on Academic Freedom!!
That’s something we should think about.
Political Science Student
University of Ghana
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