KNUST reopens Friday… Lectures to start on Monday

After three weeks of closure following violent protests by students, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is set to reopen on Friday, November 16, 2018. All...

After three weeks of closure following violent protests by students, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is set to reopen on Friday, November 16, 2018.

All things being equal, lectures would resume on Monday, November 19, 2018, a statement signed by the Registrar of the KNUST, Mr A. K. Boateng, said.

Both Lecturers and students are upbeat about the resumption of smooth academic activities although the academic calendar has practically been altered by the development.

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) said it will ensure that its members will work to recover the time lost.

Samuel Boadi Kusi, the National Secretary for UTAG, said “Once they [students] come, UTAG is ever ready. All other sister unions are ever ready to make sure we teach,” he added.

New Governing Board

The reconstituted Board has been sworn into office with six new members of the Governing Council of the university after the old Council was dissolved by government.

They are four representatives of the government, a new representative of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) and a representative of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NTCE).

The new members are Nana Effah Apenteng, Bompantahene and Chairman of the council; Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, Mr Alex Quaynor, Mrs Hilda Hagar Ampadu, Mr Steve Anoff Amoaning-Yankson and Alhaji Yakub A. B. Abubakar.

Background

On October 22, this year, there was an outbreak of violence and destruction of properties in the university following a demonstration by students of the KNUST in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

Following that, the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) took a decision to shut down the university and also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the university campus with immediate effect.

The students of KNUST, who had gone on a demonstration against what they described as the “tyrannical style” of the university administration, turned violent, leading to massive destruction of public and individual properties.

According to the students, the demonstration was also intended to express grave concern over the use of force by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, to cow them into submission.

Before the demonstration, 11 students of the University Hall (Katanga) who had participated in the usual entertainment programme (otherwise called moral session) of the hall on Friday, October 19 were allegedly brutalised and arrested by the university’s internal security men and handed over to the KNUST Police Station, where they were detained.

Moral sessions are processions of students, usually on campus, amid singing and dancing, and are very common with the all-male halls of residence.

Earlier before the demonstration, the management of the University Hall had issued a circular banning all forms of moral sessions with immediate effect and warned that anyone “who flouts this directive shall receive the necessary sanctions and response”.

Cost of damage

After an assessment of the damage caused by the students, it was realised that the university would need about GH¢1.7 million to fix the mess.

The amount excludes the cost of items stolen or lost during the riots.

The students caused damage to buildings, vehicles, motorbikes and CCTV cameras.

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