The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) will be reopened on Friday, November 16, 2018
This was announced by the KNUST University Relations Officer, Kwame Yeboah on Tuesday afternoon, after the school’s new Governing Council was constituted and new members sworn in.
“After taking a lot of things into consideration, the students are supposed to return on Friday and on Monday, academic work begins,” he told the press.
The school had been closed down since October 23, after a student protest turned violent, leading to the destruction of school property.
The school’s council will consult the Ashanti Regional Security Council with the aim of having it withdraw military and police personnel to allow for smooth academic activities to resume on Monday.
The proposed plan for the reopening was put across by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is Chancellor of the University.
The Asantehene also plans to institute a probe in the circumstances that led to the closure of the school, Mr. Yeboah remarked.
“He [the Asantehene] made us aware of his intention reopen immediately and also have a body in place to also look at what happened and what can be done to resolve all these issues,” he stated.
The new KNUST Governing Council has six new members comprising Nana Effah Apenteng, a retired diplomat and Omanhene of Bompata traditional Area; Hilda Hagar Ampadu, public health specialist, Stephen Anoff Amoaning-Yankson, President of the Ghana Institute of Engineers, Alex Quaynor, a private legal practitioner, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah and Alhaji Yakub A.B. Abubakar.
The other members of the council are Kelvin Sah, Eunice Amoako, Isaac Dadzie, Alhaji Ahmed Yakub, Prof Joshua Agyarkwa, Prof Eric Forkuo, Charles Arthur, Nimo Baffour, Prof Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Rita Akosua Dickson.
The four were sworn in today by the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
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.
Cooperation from unions
But the unions have expressed satisfaction with the latest turn of events.
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says it will ensure that its members will work to recover the time lost.
Samuel Bet Boadi Kusi, the National Secretary for UTAG, said “we think that what we have witnessed today is what we have been calling for and we are grateful that government heeded to this call.”
“Once they [students] come, UTAG is ever ready. All other sister unions are ever ready to make sure we teach,” he added.
They have in turn called off their strike which was primarily in protest of the dissolution of the previous university council.
The protests erupted after the arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school.
The students were arrested for a holding vigil on campus last Friday without permission, according to the school authorities.
One other student who was allegedly mistreated by the internal security was hospitalised 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 Council also promised students that it would ensure the security officers who allegedly beat up students are held accountable while urging students to remain calm.
The Police arrested 20 students following the incident.
A day later, the school was closed down indefinitely.