For several days now, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
Decisions and actions by the authourities over a period, culminated in a demonstration we saw last Monday that has at the last count led to the destruction of 40 cars, belonging to teaching and non-teaching staff.
In response to the ugly development, the school on Tuesday had to be shut down, the university’s governing council dissolved, with a new 7-member interim council formed to oversee the university with a four-month mandate to resolve the conflict between the students and school authorities.
Elsewhere, even in Africa, the destruction of property in a matter of hours due to a needless conflict is enough for the country to ask why?
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) had expressed shock at government decision to dissolve the university’s governing council and have threatened to embark on a sit down strike starting today.
UTAG questioned government’s power to dissolve the council explaining that it did not constitute the governing body and therefore cannot dissolve it.
The anger of UTAG, we need to stress, is another manifestation of the annoying incompetence in the management of education in the country. At every moment, the managers of education are taken by surprise.
The government has nursed itself into positions, where all they do is engage in fire brigade approach to national issues, an example of which is what is playing out in KNUST.
Proactive measures that can nip crisis in the bud, are fast becoming a strange attitude in the way things are done in the country.
In our opinion, the government, should have exhausted all the avenues, with a broad stakeholder engagement, before coming out with any solution to the crises.
There is always a more pragmatic way of restraining people from taking an obnoxious path that will not solve any useful purpose.
We urge all to go back to the table for academic work, which is the reason why the students and lecturers are on campus to begin.