The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has reiterated his support for the free Senior High School (SHS) programme introduced by government to improve access to education in the country.
He, however, charged government to quicken its pace to properly equip the various public universities with the needed infrastructure to enable them to accommodate the increasing number of beneficiaries of the free SHS policy.
“The free SHS, in all aspects, is a laudable policy, and we as a nation should applaud it,” the Asantehene, who is the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), stated.
He added: “By April/May 2020, the first batch of students under the free SHS policy will come out and this will double the number of students seeking enrollment into our tertiary institutions. This is a reality we must confront. The potential increase in enrolment at the tertiary level will require corresponding increase in resources – both financial and human – to be able to cope with the expected increase in student numbers.”
In that regard, Otumfuo also tasked government to complete all ongoing infrastructural projects in the public universities so that they would be in a proper position to absorb students that would qualify to study there.
“Resources must be found to complete all infrastructural projects at KNUST and in other universities, including my pet project – Teaching and Research Hospital on campus,” Otumfuo remarked.
Speaking during a special congregation for students, who pursued Masters and Degree programmes at KNUST, the Asantehene condemned the recent student riots, saying “it brought embarrassment to the university.
To help prevent the recurrence of the riots, he announced that he had charged a committee that would soon investigate thoroughly the events surrounding the tragedy of October 22.
Otumfuo stated that “any lewd male student behaviour in the presence of female students in the name of culture and traditions is not justifiable under any circumstances,” adding that universities are run on regulations to make academic space tolerable for all.