University Bill is 'backward'; renaming is 'unwieldy' - Bentil
Kofi Bentil, Vice President of Policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has described as ‘backward’, government’s intention to introduce a bill which will regulate universities.
"There is enough law for each of the universities to manage themselves” he explained, adding that to bring in another one to control all of them is ‘wrong’
A draft Public Universities Bill introduced by government to regulate the various public has generated controversies throughout this week.
So many educationists have spoken against this bill because of its alleged controlling effect. However, government has insisted that the bill is not intended to attack academic freedom but to harmonize management.
Kofi Bentil, who was speaking on JoyFM's Newsfile programme, wondered what mischief or problem the bill seeks to cure.
"I feel sad…are they trying to solve a problem and what problem are they trying to solve?…why do you go through all these stress…I can’t see the problem we are going to solve. This bill is seeking to control everything that goes on in the university…my worry is where from this and what is it trying to do?" he rhetorically asked.
He indicated further that “the thinking that you need one law for all the universities is totally backward…this idea of trying to make all universities into one is wrong. What people must know is that if they are in power today, they will not be in power tomorrow…another person can take power and misuse it"
He has also pleaded that there should be sober thinking behind this, "for this is wrong and we need to go back and redo it".
Renaming of universities
The government also intends to rename four universities in the bill is adopted. They include: the University of Development Studies (UDS), the University of Professional Studies (UPS) Accra, the University of Health and Allied Sciences, as well as the University of the Energy and Natural Resources.
Meanwhile, former President Jerry John Rawlings has declined an offer to rename UDS after him.
Touching on the renaming issue, Kofi Bentil described 'unwieldy'.
"...what is the need for it; you can name other things or find other ways of doing it. A name is a name but what will it add or take away" he queried.
On the other hand, Martin Kpebu, Private legal practitioner adding his voice to this debate, urged the government to let the status quo remain.
To him, the nation is better off dealing with specific problems and not have a blanket approach.