The University of Education, Winneba, (UEW) has for the past two years been one of the most reported and discussed tertiary institutions in the country.
Starting from the removal of Professor Mawutor Avoke as Vice-Chancellor, and the ‘unhealthy allegations’ by his solicitor, Raymond Atuguba, one can say that the university had since known no peace.
Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni was subsequently appointed and sworn in as Avoke’s replacement, only for some stakeholders to call for his head. Citing corruption and others allegations, some students demonstrated, while gunshots were fired on campus by police, all in an attempt to remove him.
The crises soon deepened following calls by the Minority in Parliament for the removal of the Council Chairman and Vice-Chancellor over tension on the campus.
Then, just as the tension seemed to be dying, another nasty development from UEW reared its head. A Nigerian Professor at the university, by name Augustine Nwabara, was arrested for inciting the Nigerian media and community in Ghana to adopt strategies towards tarnishing the image of Ghana in the eye of the international community.
Soon after he was deported, another lecturer from the same university, whose pen name was simply given as Bawa, churned out several distasteful articles in the media against high-profile personalities in the country, prompting National Security to arrest the editor and another reporter of the online portal, moderghana.com.
The next tale of woes from UEW was that the Management and the Academic Board of the University had postponed indefinitely its 2018/2019 students’ graduation ceremony, which was scheduled for July 22, 2019, due to the absence of a school Governing Council.
The decision led to the frustration of the 16,000 out-going students who said they badly needed their certificates to enter the job market and couldn’t be at home while their colleagues from other institutions graduated.
No sooner had the brouhaha died down than news again broke that the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) and the Supreme Court had absolved Avoke of any wrong-doing, and by extension, quashed his removal.
Armed with that report, Avoke last week stormed the campus, ostensibly to reinstate himself as the legitimate vice chancellor. Media reports say tension was so high that personnel from the Ghana Police were invited to restore calm.
Then four days ago, Ghana’s Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, announced that there is only one legitimate Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, in the person of Rev Father Prof Anthony Afful-Broni.
With the political tango surrounding the matter, allegations that Afful-Broni is sponsoring some candidates against the ruling New Patriotic Party are not surprising.
THE NEW PUBLISHER is calling on all the stakeholders to find a middle path towards a final resolution of the matter.
Currently, the UEW branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is divided. While one group is in support of Prof. Avoke’s comeback, the other has described his actions as scandalous.
In our view the Education minister’s hard stance on the matter is also not the panacea. A middle path, we think, is the best.