Government asked to enforce Public Order Act

The Assistant Registrar of the Ghana Technology University College- Kumasi Campus Mr George Akom has called on the government to enforce the Public Order Act in educational institutions in the country to enable students to embark on peaceful demonstrations devoid of destruction of properties.

According to him,the various sections in the Public Order Act 1994 (ACT 491) had the guidelines for a peaceful demonstration of which, “if it is strictly followed in our schools, it can reduce demonstrations that result in chaos and destruction of properties”.

Mr. Akom said,”the sections in the Act provide opportunities for notification to Police of special event in any public place, control of routes and crowds, responsibility of organisers and other persons, power to prohibit possession of arms, power of arrest, power of search, and offence and penalties, so if all the sections are duly followed, it will not allow students to take the laws into their own hands and embark on unplanned demonstrations that always lead to injuries, chaos and destruction of properties”.

In a chat with The Spectator, he observed that enforcing the Public Order Act in schools could result in planned demonstrations being free from chaos and destruction of properties, and as well prevent students from embarking on unjustifiable demonstrations.

He bemoaned how some of these demonstrations had negatively affected some managers of schools, who lost their positions, jobs and properties, academic calendar of some innocent students, leading to injuries and abandonment of their studies.

“Sometimes, innocent students who do not participate in such destructive demonstrations are affected when there is a cost – sharing implications after the demonstration”, he noted.

The Assistant Registra said that students were trained to be law abiding and respect the laws of the country and for that reason not hide behind demonstrations to destroy properties which would eventually affect the finances of the schools and sometimes the nation at large, should such unfortunate situation occured, and advised School Authorities to regularly involve students in some decision making process that boredered on students’ welfare and academic related issues.

“Students should use dialogues to address issues rather than resorting to only demonstrations as the last resort for their grievances,” he said.

From: Kingsley E Hope, Kumasi

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