John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, has suggested that recent controversies on the campuses of the University of Education, Winneba, and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) allegedly due to political interference will not reoccur during his tenure as President of Ghana, ABC News can report.
The former President chided the Akufo-Addo-led government for what he (John Mahama) described as actions that are affecting cordial engagements among lecturers and management resulting in dire consequences on teaching and learning in the institutions.
Mr. Mahama said this at a meeting with the National Executives of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) in Kumasi. Though it is not clear when the meeting was held, the former President in a Facebook post, today, said the government has no business interfering in the running of the universities, noting that the universities have structures in place to deal with their administrative issues as autonomous institutions.
Former President Mahama iterated the NDC’s opposition to the Public Universities Bill, affirming that each and every university must remain autonomous and conduct their affairs without interference in their activities by government.
“Every university based on its diversity and what its objectives are must have its separate Act… if there are issues with the Act [that established a university], we can amend the Act for that particular university,” he stated.
He averred that “if the University Council feels that the work of the Vice-Chancellor is not up to standard, it is the duty of the University Council to take action; it is not the duty of government to attempt to remove the Vice-Chancellor.”
The meeting discussed issues including remuneration, steps towards the introduction of sustainable grants for research and graduate education, the management of utilities on campus, the infrastructure deficit in the universities and the role universities can play in managing the unemployment challenge facing Ghana and other African countries.
It forms part of the NDC and John Mahama’s engagement with stakeholders and key groupings ahead of the 2020 general elections.