What  started as a legal tussle between the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) and a private citizen, Supi Kofi Kwayera of Winneba, has now escalated into a national issue.

The University Teachers Association, in solidarity with their counterparts, has declared a nationwide strike to register their displeasure over what they describe as an attack on academic freedom.

The action stems from an order from a High Court in Winneba, on July 14, 2017, asking Vice Chancellor of UEW, Professor Mawutor Avoke and the Finance Officer   to step aside until a case brought against them was determined.

According to Supi Kofi Kwayera, the plaintiff, the Vice chancellor and Finance Officer were operating under the institution’s defunct governing council whose mandate had been unlawfully extended.

The plaintiff averred that the council’s mandate had expired in November 2013 but the Ministry of Education failed to reconstitute a new council and allowed the defunct council to execute a mandate which he insisted was unlawful.

The university, through its counsel, applied to the court to dismiss the suit on three counts but the application was dismissed following which the UEW branch of UTAG applied to join the application.

Not satisfied with the ruling that the two administrators should step aside, the branch has since July 14, 2017 been on strike with a strong indication that they were not ready to back down on their demands until it was met.

In response to the nationwide withdrawal of services, the Vice Chancellors Ghana (VCG), yesterday held an emergency meeting in Accra to discuss progress report on the UEW and the way forward with the strike.

The Ghanaian Times finds this development distressing as it is becoming a norm that almost every university calendar is interrupted by one industrial action or the other.

And as usual, innocent students are caught in the middle of the exchanges with dire implications on their academic work.

The Ghanaian Times commends the attempt by the VCG to resolve the issue and hope that UTAG would be considerate to find other means to express their displeasure other than the industrial action.

The reconstituted governing board of UEW must be up and doing and ensure that academic work resumes in the university.

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