UTAG KNUST Est Committee To Analyse New Public Universities Bill
The KNUST chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), has establishe a five-member committee to ‘critically assess’ the Public Universities Bill which the Ministry of Education has submitted to all public universities to make inputs before it is laid in Parliament for approval.
Vice President of UTAG-KNUST, Prof. Charles Ofosu Marfo said the association will analyze the document and offer its recommendations.
The public Universities bill presented by the Ministry of Education to public universities, has received strong opposition from some individuals and groups including former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey and the Minority in Parliament.
Prof. Marfo told Citi News that the committee will forward an appropriate response and make its position known after critically scrutinizing the document.
He added that some members of UTAG were agitated when they saw some of the provisions in the document.
“…Many people didn’t seem to understand why this should emanate from a Government that seems to believe in democracy, because clearly the document is borne out of an autocracy — somebody sits in a corner, draws something and says that I am going to bind you with it and so people where agitated. Some of the individual clauses there are so bizarre that one wonders why a Government will seek to take away the individual councils of the University and across board give us a nine member council where in which the Government will have a majority stake in it. If it is not just to control the University then what else is it?”
“In fact we have set up a five man committee that as soon as possible they should sit down and look at the the Government document methodically and critically and dissect them, each clause and give an appropriate wish to Government. We understand they claim it is only a draft.”
He maintained that the new bill, when allowed to stand, will control public universities and will not augur well for the future of higher education in public universities.
The meeting in which the committee was tasked was attended by all UTAG members of KNUST, local executives as well vice chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Don’t name UDS after me – Rawlings
Former President, Jerry John Rawlings had earlier asked the Ministry of Education to remove the clause that seeks to rename the University of Development Studies (UDS) in his honour from the new University Bill.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Mr. Rawlings reiterated his earlier position with which he turned down a similar request two years ago.
According to the founder of the UDS, he does not want the institution to be renamed after him because of his principle not to have any monument named for him.
Mr. Rawlings, therefore, wants the Education Minister to without delay, withdraw that aspect of the Bill before it is laid before Parliament.
“When the proposal for the naming of the UDS was first brought to the former President's attention by the Education Minister in 2017, he thanked the President and the government for the honour, but politely declined the offer because he had a long-standing principle not to have national monuments and facilities named after him.”
Gov't to rename four public universities in new draft Bill
Four public universities in the country will be renamed after the newly drafted Public University Bill is adopted and passed by Parliament without any amendments.
The affected institutions include the University of Development Studies, the University of Professional Studies Accra, the University of Health and Allied Sciences, as well as the University of the Energy and Natural Resources.
It is expected that the University of Development Studies will be renamed after the first President under the Fourth Republic, Jerry John Rawlings.
The University of Professional Studies, Accra will be renamed after its founder, Nana Opoku Ampomah.
A former member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and Convention People's Party (CPP) will be honoured with University of Health and Allied Sciences while the University of Energy and Natural Resources is to be named in honour of former Prime Minister of Ghana, Kofi Abrefa Busia.
President Akufo-Addo officially renamed the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) to the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, after the first President of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).
He has also announced that the Wa Polytechnic will be named after Ghana's former President, Dr. Hilla Liman.