NCTE directs KNUST VC to step aside

The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) has asked Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), to step aside for the Interim Council to conduct investigations into the issues, which culminated in the violent protest on campus, last Monday.

An official source at the NTCE told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the Council wrote directly to the Vice Chancellor to communicate the decision to him.

The Government on Thursday, October 25, dissolved the Council of the KNUST and put in place an interim one to take over the administration of the University, while it investigated the causes of the violent protest, which led to the destruction of school and individual property, running into many thousands of cedis.

Reports say more than 30 vehicles were destroyed in the process.

More than 20 students have since been arrested by the Police for their alleged involvement in the violence; but they have been released on bail pending investigations.

The seven-member Interim Council, headed by Nana Effah Appenteng, the paramount chief of Amantena Traditional Area, in the Ashanti Region, has up to three months to complete its work, which involves prioritising the restoration of academic work at the University to normalcy within the shortest possible time.

The University was closed down indefinitely after an overnight declaration of a dusk to dawn curfew ordered by the Regional Security Council.

Meanwhile, the dissolution of the Council by the Government has been met with mixed reaction, with some, including the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG) citing legal breaches as the reason for their disapproval.

Others, including the KNUST Branch of the National Union of Ghana Students have, however, welcomed the decision as the best, given the circumstances.

But UTAG and other university staff bodies have threatened a nationwide strike over the matter, and are now engaged in meetings to make a decision.

The students have attributed the disturbances to the alleged ‘authoritarian style’ of the Vice Chancellor; and the resultant suppression of their rights to expression and association, leading to alleged human rights abuses by the Campus Security.

Prof. Obiri-Danso, the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, was appointed by the Governing Council in August 2016; with a four-year mandate to expire in 2020.


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