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General News Wed, 3 Jul 2019

Public Universities Bill needless – Clement Apaak

Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Dr. Clement Apaak, has described as needless, government’s intention to have a Public Universities Bill passed.

He said the current system of running public universities with different statutes has not brought about any major challenges and thus must not be changed.

President Akufo-Addo recently defended the bill, saying the criticism that the bill will curtail academic freedom was erroneous.

However, the Builsa South MP told Citi News that government must not seek too much power over the management of universities.

“Governing the universities has not been sufficient in as far as running their public institutions are concerned. So if those in the field, those who dispense the responsibility have not complained, why is government so eager to introduce a bill that is rather going to create confusion as far as the governance of public universities is concerned.”

Critics raised concerns about the bill some months ago after some academics and members of the opposition expressed concerns about some of the clauses in the bill.

Among the clauses they had challenges with were that the President of Ghana will appoint 5 members out of the 9 members that will form the university council as well as the chairman of the council.

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.

Public Universities Bill will not suppress academic freedom – Nana Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo earlier said persons who suggest that the bill seeks to suppress academic freedom are only being mischievous.

The president, while speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Faculty of Law at the University for Professional Studies, Accra, said his government has no intention to suppress academic freedom.

According to him, the Bill, will instead make the administration of public universities less cumbersome.

“Consultations on the public university’s bill has been completed and will be laid before Parliament this year. Amongst others, this will bring all the public universities under a common law, thereby making administration of public universities less cumbersome, and more efficient. The flimsy allegations being perpetrated that the Bill will undermine academic freedom are deliberate mischief making and disingenuous,” he said.

Source: citinewsroom.com