New KNUST Governing Council sworn in

A new Governing Council for the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has been constituted and new members sworn into office by the Education Minister.

This was after a meeting of the school’s interim governing council today, Tuesday.

Nana Effah Apenteng, a retired diplomat, and Omanhene of Bompata traditional Area, and Hilda Hagar Ampadu, a public health specialist, were members of the interim council set up by the government, and they have been maintained on the new council.

Also sworn in were Stephen Anoff Amoaning-Yankson, President of the Ghana Institute of Engineers, and Alex Quaynor, a private legal practitioner.

In addressing the members of the council, the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said the reconstitution of this council “comes at a very sensitive point and requires clear leadership and direction from you as a matter of urgency to get academic work back on track.”

The University Council is made of 15 members, four of which are government representatives.

A representative from the government side chairs the council.

The previous KNUST governing council was dissolved after management-student tensions culminated in violent protests and the school was shut down.

The government constituted an interim University council after it closed down the school.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II had been leading efforts to ensure the university reconstituted its Governing Council.

A new council was supposed to have been constituted two weeks ago, but stakeholders were unable to arrive at an agreement.

The school was to reopen on November 8, but that deadline was not met because of the impasse between the government and the unions.

There was opposition to the dissolution from members of the Senior Staff Association, the Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA), the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU).

The lecturers and university administrators, who went on strike, maintained that the government failed to follow the due procedure in trying to resolve the impasse between the University management and the students.

The aggrieved parties have now called off their strike, as TEWU and UTAG were allowed to maintain their members on the new KNUST Council.

Background

The arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school compelled the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) to mobilize for the protest last month.

The students were arrested for a holding vigil on campus without permission, according to the school authorities.

One other student who was allegedly mistreated by the internal security was hospitalized at the KNUST hospital.

The Executive Council of the SRC said the demonstration was needed to convey students’ frustration over disrespect and oppression by the school.

The arrests came after the KNUST management served notice that it had suspended the organisation of vigils (morales) in the school.

The management said this was because of “several negative issues encountered recently concerning morales in the hall.”

Some of the protesters called for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.

The SRC said the actions of the campus security and the police officers were a “gross deviation” because the two agencies were instead to protect them.

The Police arrested 20 students following the incident, who were later released.

A day later, the school was closed down indefinitely.

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