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Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang has mounted strong opposition to the passage of the controversial Public Universities Bill calling on the government to rescind its decision to pass the bill. The bill seeks to harmonize the governance, administration, and accountability structures of public universities.
Since the introduction of the bill which is still at the consultation stage, there have been oppositions from some professors at the universities and key stakeholders stating that the government seeks to control academic freedom.
The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences has kicked against the Public Universities Bill laid before Parliament seeking for it to be shelved because its “likely to be retrogressive, rather than enhancing what Ghanaian universities have achieved over the years.”
The Academy in a five-page document tabled before Parliament said they strongly believe this bill is dangerous and uncalled for, insisting it is a recipe for chaos in Ghana’s tertiary education system.
In the view of the Academy, the Bill is also not in conformity with the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and must be dropped.
It added: “rather, Ghana needs a differentiated and diversified, but not necessarily hierarchical, university system, to offer the flexibility needed to address the changing needs of students and nations in an increasingly competitive and uncertain world.”
The purpose of the Public Universities Bill, the Education Ministry explained, “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.”
The running mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang speaking on the bill at Enchi in the Aowin constituency of the Western North region said the bill must be withdrawn.
“A bill that will give the President the power to appoint and fire a vice-chancellor; or allow the sector minister to give policy direction to universities which will have to be complied with; has no business being considered for passage into law.
“The governance or administration of a university is diametrically different and must be devoid of politics,” Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said.
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