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Otumfuo Settles KNUST Dispute

…University Re-Opens on Friday

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STUDENTS OF the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi, are to return to school on Friday while academic work takes off on Monday.

The re-opening of the university, after three weeks of closure due to violent protest by students, was achieved following the intervention of the KNUST Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.

The duration of the closure of the KNUST was set to be extended as government, on hand UTAG and TEWU, on the other hand, took entrenched positions, regarding the composition of the new governing council of the school.

Whilst the government demanded that all the old members on the KNUST Governing Council be replaced, both UTAG and TEWU resisted that directive saying that they would retain their old members on the council.

This led to a standoff, which prolonged the re-opening of the university fo days to the chagrin of all major stakeholders, including students, parents and guardians, just to mention a few.

But the Asantehene, ruled that the old members on the council would be retained and added that any group that wished to replace its members on the council is at liberty to do so.

New Council

The government heeded to the Asante Monarch’s call by replacing all its four members on the old council. The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) also replaced one member on the old council with a new person.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who is known in political circles as ‘Napo’, sworn in the new members of the council yesterday.

Napo assured the government’s readiness and determination to play leading roles in order to ensure the immediate re-opening of the university so that academic work, which had been halted for three weeks, can start.

Otumfuo

For his part, the Asantehene expressed disgust over the violent protests by the students, pointing out that the students should have taken the right procedure to fight for their rights instead of resorting to violence.

The KNUST Chancellor cautioned that the university would not tolerate acts of violence and lawlessness on the part of the students in future, urging the students to take note and behave appropriately.

He stated that there should be cordial relationship between the students and the management of the university so that in future violent protest by students, which is not necessary, would not be repeated.

Otumfuo said the violent protests and the eventual closure of the university had brought shame to the university, adding that a five-man committee, headed by a retired judge, would be formed to investigate the recent riots.

The KNUST Chancellor indicated that he doesn’t want a repeat of the violent protests in the university, adding that the report of the committee would offer key lessons to all stakeholders and help avert future wild protests.

Meanwhile, Prof. Obiri-Danso, the beleaguered Vice Chancellor (VC) of the KNUST.

By: Akwasi Boakye

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