Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Professor George K.T. Oduro says the government is using the new Public Universities bill as a cover-up to its ulterior motives.
According to him, the bill in its current form will disadvantage universities in the country while giving government enormous powers.
The New Public Universities Bill which seeks to harmonise the operations of all public universities has met stiff opposition from members of the academia who argue the bill will lead to unnecessary interference of the operations of universities.
“I think the government is using this bill to clone its main intent,” Prof Oduro said on Joy News’ Newsfile programme on Saturday, May 30, 2020.
Citing a portion of the bill to buttress his claims, he indicated that “If we go into Section 47 of the bill it reads, the minister may give directives on matters of policy through the Ghana Education Service to the public universities and the public universities must comply, and this is where stakeholders concern must come up because the government is using this to clone their real motives.”
Prof Oduro joined his peers in academia who strongly believe that the new law would stifle “academic freedom” and “destroy quality policy in the country as a result.”
“In 2010 I was the chairman of the Takoradi Technical University [council], a Deputy Minister calls me and asked me to let the then rector proceed on leave.”
“I asked why, because the Act clearly states that the chairman of the council and the council is the highest decision-making body and so I drew his attention to that. I was almost removed but for the authorities going strictly according to the provisions of the Act.”
“Again in 2011, another Deputy Minister of Education via a radio announcement decided that a program that had been approved by the academic board of the University of Cape Coast which was approved by the Ghana Accreditation Board should be removed and taken to GIMPA.”
“There too we had to make reference to the Act’s provision and because of that the order couldn’t be implemented,” he said.