9 November 2018

Ghana: Date for KNUST Reopening Still Unclear

Kumasi — THE planned reopening of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) yesterday has been put on hold.

This follows the continuous stand-off between government and labour unions over the composition of the governing council as the unions are accusing the government of undue interference.

Government's action, according to the unions, "is setting a bad precedent" and urged it (government) to wash its hands off it.

This came to light at a press briefing in the late hours of Wednesday to dispel government's impression that the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and other groups have been holding the public to ransom by not changing their representatives on the governing council.

The unions insisted that their representatives of UTAG, Teacher and Workers Union (TEWU), alumni and the convocation were duly elected by laid down principles and could not be changed without due procedure being followed.

According to the unions, the action of the government "is causing delay in the reopening of the University."

Dr Otchere Addai-Mensah, executive member of UTAG, briefing the press assured that UTAG would restore all withdrawn services when the governing council was inaugurated.

National President of UTAG, Dr Eric Opoku Mensah, also expressed worry about the continuous silence of the Peace Council and other faith-based organisations on the developments at the University.

Executives of the unions, after the press briefing, met with the Chancellor of the University, Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in a closed door discussion.

The Ghanaian Times gathered that the Asantehene has assured he would take every possible step to resolve the impasse and called for calm.

It is recalled that government set up a Seven-Member Interim Council; to manage the KNUST following its decision to dissolve the University's governing council which decision the KNUST's branch of UTAG kicked against and announced an indefinite strike until the dissolved council was restored.

The development had seen members of TEWU at KNUST hitting the streets of Kumasi in protest.

They indicated that government could have asked the previous council to come out with a road map to resolve the stand-off or investigate the matter.

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