Lecturers at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have declared an indefinite strike.
This follows the government’s dissolution of the Governing Council of KNUST and subsequent establishment of a seven-member Interim Council to look into the recent disturbances on campus, which resulted in the destruction of over 40 cars and 10 motorbikes.
The Interim Council, chaired by Nana Effah Apenteng, Paramount Chief of the Bompata Traditional Area, has a three-month tenure.
The KNUST branch of UTAG argue that the university is autonomous and, therefore, should not be subjected to political interference by the government.
The lecturers want the old council to be restored. They said they will not return to the lecture halls until this is done.
The lecturers arrived at this decision after a meeting on Friday, 26 October 2018.
Professor Eric K. Fokuo, President of UTAG-KNUST, told the media after the meeting that: “After much deliberations, we have all decided that, as a matter of urgency, they should restore the Governing Council of KNUST and then, also, we do not recognise the Interim Governing Council set up by the government yesterday [Thursday, 25 October]”.
He added that “we have withdrawn our teaching services till the government restores this.”
He pointed out that the move by the government constitutes an “attack on academic freedom”.
On the other hand, some students of the university have welcomed the decision by the government to dissolve the Governing Council.
The committee was formed after briefs and recommendations made by the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, after he led a high-powered delegation, including the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah; and the Minister-Designate of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, to Kumasi.
On Monday, 22 October 2018, there were disturbances on the campus of KNUST during which properties were vandalised.
The university was subsequently shut down indefinitely upon the advice of the Regional Security Council.