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Varsity students’ clashes: Education Minister wants lasting solution

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum — Minister of Education, addressing the press conference in Accra
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum — Minister of Education, addressing the press conference in Accra

The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has called on university authorities to find a lasting solution to recent students’ disturbances on the university campuses.

He said students must be counselled, while those who went contrary to laid down rules and regulations must be dealt with.

Dr Adutwum, who deplored the activities of students of both the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), made the call at a press briefing in Accra last Friday.

“We have heard of the disturbances at the University of Ghana and the KNUST. It is unfortunate that we hear of these disturbances. I had a long chat with the Vice-Chancellor of the University Ghana for her to brief me on happenings on campus.

We are not happy that the future leaders of this country will behave in such a manner.

“We want the hall authorities and the universities to come together and find a lasting solution to these disturbances. I believe that they (students) need to be counselled and guided, but after all that if they decide to take the law into their own hands, the universities should deal with them accordingly,” the minister said.

Clashes

There were violent clashes between residents of the University Hall (Katanga) and those of the Unity Hall (Continental) at the KNUST last Thursday afternoon, leading to the destruction of properties.

The clashes resulted in 12 students from both halls sustaining injuries. Twelve vehicles belonging to staff of the university were also destroyed.

The police, in a statement, said an investigation was ongoing to arrest those "behind these unfortunate, needless and unjustifiable attacks and bring them to face justice".

The disturbances between the University and the Unity halls occurred after those between the Commonwealth and the Mensah Sarbah halls of the University of Ghana about two weeks ago.

Those disturbances also led to the destruction of properties.

Support

Dr Adutwum emphasised that university students needed to be supported and guided to see the wisdom in not doing what had happened in our various universities.

“So we are hoping and praying that the university authorities will get a handle on this and preempt some of these things. And I think it is going to come when we do the counselling and guidance and admonition and all those things to help the young men and women understand that you don’t solve problems by resorting to violence,” he said.