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All what you need to know about the Universities Bill and why John Mahama has vowed to cancel it

On the 28th of January 2020, a new Universities Draft Bill was proposed in parliament by the Ministry of Education, presented by Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh. Explaining the rationale behind the policy, the minister of education, in–charge of tertiary education explained that the bill is to; provide the procedure for the establishment of public universities, principles of management of public universities, the procedure for financing Public universities and administration and supervision of the activities of public universities and related matters. The ministry, also explained that the public universities bill is intended to harmonize the management of public universities.

Since the proposal of the bill, there have been oppositions from some persons in the teaching field and students alike. Paramount among the reasons given for the opposition of the bill was that the bill is a threat to academic freedom and an attempt by the government to manipulate universities since the bill allows for the government to nominate and appoint a controlling number of the members of public university governing councils.

Below are some thoughts shared by notable personalities:

Dr. Clement Apaak, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee in parliament expressed his concerns on the newly drafted bill, stating that it is needless and ought to be discarded. He also made mention that, it is a deliberate attempt by the existing government to have extreme power over the public universities.

Renowned Political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo vowed to resist any attempt to attack academic freedom and political oppression through the bill.

Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the former education minister, has affirmed that the bill if passed into law could become " a terrible attack on the sacred principles of academic freedom". He, therefore, advised the government to withdraw this contemptuous draft bill. "It is not a peaceful policy path for a Democrat," he said.

The Monarch of the Asante Kingdom, Asantehene Osei Tutu II also called on the government to hold on with the passage of the bill while it engages all stakeholders relevant to the passage of the bill on what really should be the component of the bill.

Private Legal Practitioner, Samson Lardy Ayenini has questioned government on the rationale behind its seeming haste to pass the ‘Public Universities Bill’ as though it is the cure for Covid-19. 

Due to all concerns raised, John Mahama has also added his voice in a written article. According to him, the Universities Bill should be withdrawn as it will undermine academic innovations and ingenuity. He has vowed to repeal it should the NDC with the 2020 elections.

Content created and supplied by: otdrinker (via Opera News )

Clement Apaak Education Committee John Mahama Matthew Opoku Prempeh Universities

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