Government dissolves KNUST Council
Government on Thursday dissolved the Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. (KNUST), and has constituted a seven-member Interim Council to work to re-open the institution within 14 days for academic work to continue.
The Interim Council, chaired by Nana Effah Apenteng, Paramount Chief of the Bompata Traditional Area, has a three-month mandate to oversee the day-to-day running of the university and to investigate all outstanding matters in order to expedite the re-opening of the university.
The move follows briefs and recommendations made by the Education Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh after he led a delegation, including National Security Ministry, Albert Kan Dapaah and the Minister-Designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah to Kumasi, after a demonstration on Monday, October 22, 2018, by students of the KNUST campus Kumasi turned Violent leading to the destruction of property.
Subsequently, the university shut down indefinitely upon the advice of the Regional Security Council.
According to a statement issued by the Education Ministry, the view of the university management, as the delegation observed, was that increasingly, there had been acts of wayward behaviour, hooliganism and incidents of violence on campus, hence the need to take steps to protect life and property.
The statement said the position of the student leadership was that the issues went beyond the university’s policy to convert all the halls of residence into mixed sex halls.
“It emerged further that the students felt oppressed by some policies of the university authorities and that they lived in fear. They believed they did not have enough opportunities for conflict resolution and dialogue with the authorities, resulting in a breakdown of trust between students and the authorities”.
The statement said Government’s immediate priority was to expedite the re-opening of the university to ensure a smooth return to academic work, and that the view was shared by the university’s lecturers as well.
“Government is also mindful of an adverse international image the country would suffer if the university remained closed for a protracted period, especially given the substantial number of foreign students at KNUST.
“However, government has been advised by the Ashanti Regional Security Council that without a resolution of the relevant matters, it would not be safe to re-open the university,” the statement said.
According to the Ministry, the Governing Council was not in a position to review its own processes and decisions affecting the student body to guarantee peace.
The statement stressed Government’s unreserved condemnation of the damage to private and public property during the disturbances, stating that those found culpable following investigations would be surcharged accordingly.