Yire/Ayisha Issaku, GNA
Accra, March 5, GNA – The Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS) on Monday protested against the Technical Universities Amendment Bill 2017, which is currently before Parliament.
Mr Abdul Rahaman Ibrahim, GNUTS Coordinating Secretary said the Bill seeks to grant powers to the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) to perform functions, which fall within the purview of the governing councils, academic boards and principal officers of the technical universities.
Mr Ibrahim, who was addressing a press conference in Accra, to register their grievances, said the proposed amendments in summary, seeks to take away the autonomy enjoyed by the technical universities just as existing in all other universities in Ghana.
He said: “Our stand as students and a union hinges on the fact that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Any conflict between government and management of our technical universities will have a greater effect on us as students.
“In our candid opinion, most of the sections are directly having a negative effect on enhancing effective teaching and learning”.
He said in spite of the crippling but avoidable challenges affecting the technical universities, Government intends to worsen the case of these institutions with unnecessary sections in the technical universities (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
He said the mandate of technical universities was very clear and plays a significant role in enhancing industrialisation in Ghana but the Bill, was seeking to downplay and disrupt the effective execution of the mandate of these Technical universities.
“It is beyond reasonable comprehension that the Ministry of Education, which is expected to champion and observe best practices in education management, has now become the proponent of suppressive and dictatorial management of tertiary institutions.
Mr Ibrahim said the actions of the NCTE, using the unpopular amendments, would only amount to setting the clock backwards 26 years in the history of Technical and Vocational Education.
He appealed to Parliament not to pass the Technical Universities Amendment Bill in its current state, saying that, sections of the Bill seeks to establish, variation and supervision of academic divisions, schools, faculties, institutes, departments, centres and hostels of that technical university, subject to approval by the NCTE.
He said under the Bill, technical universities, who want to enter into any agreement or relationship with another institution, whether academic or non-academic and within or outside the country would be subject to approval by the NCTE.
He said technical universities were capable of managing and executing their mandate just like any other tertiary institution, and that, the governing councils of the technical universities were capable of initiating sound policies in the smooth running of these institutions.
“We are not denying the fact that the NCTE act as a supervisory body of Tertiary Education in Ghana but government is now trying to make the NCTE a pseudo council for Technical Universities which will tie the hands of these institution to execute their mandate properly,” he said.
He appealed to government to grant the technical universities the autonomy to operate just like the other traditional universities to operate without interference.
As part of efforts to register their protest to the Government, GNUTS members tied red bands around their hands during the press conference.