The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwasi Yankah, has appealed to the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), students and other stakeholders threatening industrial action on the re-constitution of councils of public universities to exercise restraint.
He explained that the delay “is to ensure that painstaking efforts are made to ensure that the constituted councils have gone through the entire cycle of meticulous vetting.”
Prof. Yankah made the appeal yesterday when he inaugurated a 15-member reconstituted governing council of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
The Council has Justice Victor Mawulom Jones Dotse as chairman, with Professor Victor Patrick Yao Gadzekpo, Dr Nana Owusu-Afari, Dr Sylvia Ayele Deganus, Dr Mark Amexo and Mr Richard K. Adjei representing the government.
The other members are Professor John Gyapong, Vice Chancellor of the UHAS; Dr Emmanuel Newman from the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), Professor Harry Kwami Tagbor and Madam Yaa Opuni Amankwaa representing Convocation (professorial and non-professorial) respectively and Professor Francis Bruno Zotor representing the UTAG.
The rest are Mr Kwesi Aseredum Hagan representing the Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association of Ghana (FUSSAG), Mr Joshua Gadasu from the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Mr Courage Meteku from the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) and Mr Pious Afrane representing the School Representative Council (Undergraduate).
Prof. Yankah explained that the inauguration of the council of the UHAS was the first in a series the government had set in motion until all the councils of public universities had been inaugurated in the next few days, adding “Even as I speak, the list of respective councils is ready for release.”
While congratulating the council members, he reminded them that the UHAS was one of the institutions whose core objectives were fundamental to government’s intent to build a healthy workforce that would play a pivotal role in national development.
“The University of Health and Allied Sciences was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 828, 2011) with the aim of providing higher education in health sciences, constructing and disseminating knowledge and applying knowledge acquired to the needs and aspirations of the people,” he explained.
Prof. Yankah commended the previous governing council chairman and the founding vice chancellor and his successor, as well as the teams that worked with them for propelling the university to enviable heights over a short period of time.
He reminded the new council of the daunting challenges confronting young and fledgling universities such as the UHAS and said solutions to those issues required creative guidance and leadership often expected of governing councils.
“But your charge as a governing council goes beyond this. You should give policy directions towards ensuring high standards in academic output and giving graduates from this university a distinctive mark solely associated with the University of Health and Allied Sciences, and none other,” Prof. Yankah stated.