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Open KNUST now to prevent academic year from being forfeited in 3-days - Movement

KNUST   UTAG  Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

Sun, 11 Nov 2018 Source: rainbowradioonline.com

A group calling itself "The reopen KNUST now movement' has called on authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), to fast track the processes leading to the reopening of the school.

The movement is claiming to have gathered rumours that the entire academic year would be forfeited if the school fails to reopen in three days.

This they say will disadvantage the over 45, 000 students in the school hence the need for all stakeholders to burry their differences and address the challenge leading to the dissolution of the council and shutdown of the school.

The statement by the movement said:

"Now it has been rumored that if the duration of the close down of the school exceeds 21 days which is just 3 days away in this case, the academic year will have to be forfeited. This will be of great disadvantage to the over 45,000+ students of KNUST and in such a case will make all their claims of having students at heart flawed."

The movement, which was established to give a voice to students and help quicken the pace at which various stakeholders are working to get a date for the school to resume, decried the attempt by some individuals to move away from the main issues that led to the students rioting and close down of the school.

They have therefore called on authorities not to deviate from the core issues but address them and get the school reopened to prevent students from being disadvantaged.

Read below the full statement:

For Immediate Release Accra, 9th November, 2018:

The reopen KNUST now movement is a movement established and being facilitated by students of KNUST who by virtue of their status are junior members of the University.

The group’s main aim is to give a voice to students and help quicken the pace at which various stakeholders are working to get a date for school to resume.

The group does not intend to fight any stakeholder or pressurize any stakeholder but rather find amicable means to quicken the pace.

Background

On Monday, 22nd October 2018, students of KNUST marched and staged a “peaceful” demonstration.

Though it was intended to be a peaceful one there were few strands of violence as some students vandalized school properties. This led to an imposition of curfew and a subsequent close down of the school on Tuesday,23rd October, 2018.

After the close down, various stakeholders i.e Government, School Authorities, SRC, UTAG, TEWU have had several round table discussions. Government after crunch meetings with the various stakeholders decided to dissolve the Schools council and establish a new council which was in accordance with article 195 sections 1,2 and 3 of the Ghana constitution.

This move did not go down well with the KNUST branches of UTAG and TEWU who stated unequivocally that there cannot be an interim council without representatives from their associations. This triggered a strike action from the two Unions and Government decided to add the two to the newly formed interim council which was supposed to steer affairs for three months and mandated to reopen the school by November 8.

With this done, it was expected that things were in place for the reopening of the school yet, the two associations UTAG-KNUST and TEWU-KNUST came again to express their displeasure over the dissolution of the council alleging that government does not have the right to do so.

The Chancellor came in and gave orders for the formation of a new council which was going to be constituted by members of the old council. It was reported that the Chancellor does not recognize the interim council formed and so, the council to take charge was expected to be inaugurated on Friday, November 2.

The date for inauguration arrived. The council expected to be formed was never inaugurated as it was reported that government has been unable to submit its appointees to make the board complete.

On Monday, the Minister of information in his address to the press expressed government’s reluctance to allow members of the old council to be a part of the new council and asked for the cooperation of the various stakeholders as that will be a catalyst to the reopening of the school.

On November 8, the date slated by government for school to resume, the school was still closed down and students were informed by the SRC that the school will not be resumed.

Till now as we write, no reopening date has been scheduled and there has not been any news of the way forward. Semester work has come to a halt, scholarship applications have messed up, final year projects have been left unattended to, campus businesses (stores) are making losses and the fate of anxious students and parents has been left in the hands of inconsistent media reportage of which some turn out not to be true.

The Problem

The qualms between the various stakeholders is now causing unnecessary tensions and thus delaying the date of reopening. Now it has been rumored that if the duration of the close down of the school exceeds 21 days which is just 3 days away in this case, the academic year will have to be forfeited. This will be of great disadvantage to the over 45,000+ students of KNUST and in such a case will make all their claims of having students at heart flawed. ?

The two Unions TEWU-KNUST and UTAG-KNUST are core parts of the institution and always preach that their actions are in the best interest of the university.

Their recent issues are causing delays to the resumption of the school and these delays might lead to something catastrophic for students. ?

The further delay has now shifted focus from the initial issues raised by students which were the backbone reasons for which the impasse occurred. It is believed that the various acts on going are a part of diversionary tactics to ensure that the issues from students are not addressed.

The way forward

With the above in mind, the Reopen KNUST now movement looks forward to the implementation of the following action plans:

The various stakeholders should come to a compromise and cooperate with Government to fast track the reopening of KNUST.

Government should find amicable ways to settle the concerns raised by the various Stakeholders to enhance the pace at which discussions are moving.

The various issues raised by students as the causative reasons for the impasse are carefully looked at and addressed.

That is; Students brutality, one week for all hall week celebrations together with SRC and SCC weeks etc.

That notwithstanding the various reasons stated in initial SRC communiqués, Government together with all other stakeholders take a critical look at the conversion of the two male halls (University Hall popularly known as Katanga and Unity Hall popularly referred to as Conti).

Conclusion

With just a little above a month to the scheduled date of vacation, the movement is calling on all stakeholders to see to it that KNUST is reopened as soon as possible.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com
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