KNUST Council should address concerns

BY: Daily Graphic
Library photo
Library photo

At long last the governing council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has fixed the reopening date of the university for Friday, November 16, 2018. This followed a council meeting yesterday and consultation with the Ashanti Regional Security Council.

It is recalled that the school was closed on Monday, October 22, 2018 following a violent demonstration by the students that rendered the atmosphere unconducive for academic work.

The Daily Graphic would want to applaud the authorities, especially the government, the chancellor and the university authorities, as well as the students, for the measures that have been put in place for academic work to resume.

As the school reopens, we implore the university authorities to ensure that the unfortunate incidents that led to the closure of the institution are not allowed to rear their ugly heads again.

We are particularly happy with the assurance by the Chancellor of the university, who is also the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to ensure that the incident is investigated thoroughly for lessons to be learnt to avoid a recurrence of such a violent demonstration in the future.

We need not belabour the point that wherever people live together, there are bound to be conflicts.

But there are many means to resolve conflicts without resorting to violent acts.

As we wait for the setting up of the committee that will investigate both the remote and the immediate causes of the riots, we encourage everybody who will appear before the committee to come out with the circumstances that precipitated the demonstration.

We also express the belief that people who will appear before the committee will not be victimised after giving their version of the narrative.

As for the students, they need nobody to tell them that they have wasted enough time and they should jump straight into their studies as they report for school. They must be reminded that as much as they have the right to demonstrate, anyone who destroys state property will be held responsible.

As the committee to be established by the chancellor starts its work, whoever will be found culpable should be made to face the full consequences of his/her actions.

It is unacceptable that people would take the law into their own hands at the highest place of learning from where people take up leadership and responsible positions. Certainly we cannot train future leaders who are lawless and intolerant of other people’s views and opinions.

The Daily Graphic also entreats our university authorities to be patient and accommodating of students’ views. We should not forget that the university community comprises both junior and senior members who are affected one way or another by conditions on campus. Therefore, senior members should not use their position to subdue junior members.

In the same way, junior members should not see themselves as being entitled to all the demands they make, even when the university’s rules and regulations clearly spell out how things should be done.

We very much share in the concerns of the chancellor that the incident is perhaps the worst to have happened on any university campus in the country in recent memory.

As the new Governing Council takes over, therefore, we entreat all stakeholders to help it address all the grievances that precipitated the riots, so that the university will run smoothly as it avoids any future recurrence of the disturbances.