The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has indicated that the decision by the government to pass the Public Universities Bill (PUB) into law, will do more harm than it claims to fix.According to the University of Ghana-Legon branch of the association, the PUB if not withdrawn, would only hobble public universities by bringing it under a direct day-to-day management of the Minister of Education.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Dean of International Programmes at the University of Ghana UG, Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo explained that having a one-size-fits-all piece of legislation for universities will only inhibit its growth and innovation.
“By seeking to centralize University admission under one platform, the Bill takes the process for admission of new students away from individuals universities. This would not only be cumbersome but would strip from universities in the country the ability to seek the best students for their unique programmes,” Prof. Adomako lamented.
She added that this centralized admission which will be controlled by the government under the PUB would lead to the pervasive nepotism and expansion of ‘protocols admission’.
“This would only deepen the disadvantage of students without means or political connection,” she added.
The University of Ghana section of UTAG is therefore urging for the withdrawal of the controversial decision by the government for passage of the Public Universities Bill (PUB) into law.
Meanwhile, Director of Programmes at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Dr. Kojo Asante, on his part said the sponsors of the bill have not provided an honourable justification for it to be passed.
"Despite a proposal for the bill to be withdrawn, the government has since not heeded to our proposal but we are calling for the bill to be withdrawn because it poses a threat to Ghana's growth in higher education and the autonomy of universities," he stressed.
The new Public Universities Bill signed by the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, seeks to regulate the activities of public universities under one law.
The proposed law seeks to change the structure of the governing councils of the public universities with the majority of the members being appointed by the President.
According to the Education Ministry the Bill, "is to provide the procedure for the establishment of Public Universities, principles of management of public universities, the legal status of public universities, the procedure for financing Public universities and administration and supervision of the activities of Public universities and related matters."
Read a release by UTAG below