The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has urged the government to consult broadly before presenting the draft University Bill to parliament.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST) said consulting broadly and incorporating the views of all stakeholders in the draft bill will ensure peace and tranquillity on the various university campuses in the country.
“The interest generated by the general public in the bill should give a strong signal to the government to accommodate divergent views being expressed by key stakeholders such as the Vice Chancellors Ghana, University Teachers Association of Ghana and Members of Convocation across all the public universities,” he said.
“Ultimately, the concerns and interest of all major stakeholders must be seen to have been taken on board in the final draft for the sake of harmony and industrial peace on campuses. All stakeholders must respect the views of others and avoid must confrontation and consolidation of positions on the bill.”
“I strongly urge the government to allow further and broader consultations in order to iron out any grey areas before the bill is placed before parliament for consideration,” the Chancellor who was speaking during a graduation ceremony at KNUST for postgraduate students added.
The government is introducing a new universities bill which is aimed at ensuring harmony in the management and administration of public universities.
But stakeholders including the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have criticized aspects of the bill.
The academics and members of the opposition raised concerns about some of the clauses in the bill.
Among the clauses they had challenges with were that the President of Ghana will appoint five members out of the nine members that will form the university council as well as the chairman of the council.
Also, the draft bill gives the president the power to dissolve the university council which will now have the power to appoint a chancellor.
The Bill also gives effect to the University Council to control the finances of the university and determine the allocation of funds.
President Akufo-Addo recently at a graduation ceremony at the University for Professional Studies, Accra described persons who expressed a different opinion and challenged clauses in the Bill as “mischief-makers” and “disingenuous.”
UTAG in response expressed its displeasure over the comments and said it will continue to protest against the clauses it deems inappropriate to ensure that it is fixed before the bill is presented before parliament.