Dont allow tribal, ethnocentric sentiments in Vice Chancellor’s appointment – Educ Minister advises universities

The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has asked managers of the country’s universities to guard against the subtle introduction of tribal and ethnocentric sentiments in the appointment of Vice Chancellors.

According to him, the only criteria that qualified one to become Vice Chancellors or the head of any tertiary institution in the country were their academic qualification and competency which must not be compromised in anyway.

“In recent times, we are beginning to see a situation where some people agitate against the appointment Vice-Chancellors simply because they do not come from where the university is sited. I wish to appeal to you to engage your colleagues informally and get them to know the dangers the phenomenon posses for all of us when you meet at your conferences,” he emphasised.

Dr Prempeh made the call at the swearing ceremony of the governing council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) held in Accra yesterday.

The fourteen-member governing council has Nana Effah Apenteng, Omanhene of the Bompata Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region as its chair with Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso, Vice Chancellor of the institution and Dr Haggar Hilda Ampadu, Mr Steve Amoaning-Yankson as well as Mr Alex Quaynor, all government nominees respectively as members.

The others are;  Professor Joshua Ayarkwa, Convocation (Professional), Dr Isaac Dadzie, Convocation (non-professional), Professor Charles Ofosu-Marfo, University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Mr Charles Adu-Baah, Student Representative Council (SCR), Mr Maxwell Essan Mensah, Graduate Student Association of Ghana (GRASSAG). Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, Education Commission, Alhaji Yakub Abubakar, Conference of Heads of Assisted  Secondary Schools (CHASS) and  Dr Kweku Agbesi, Alumni.  

Dr Prempeh said government would not countenance any form of tribal bigotry on our campuses, stressing that “It is important that we don’t create the impression to the outside world that we are creating tribal universities in our country. Universities are purely for academic and research purposes and government will ensure that they focus on this.”

Touching on the function of the governing council, he said the President took note of the experiences they were bringing on board before appointing them as such they would have to work to impart the council.

He said the council would have to work to ensure that the university’s systems and processes were efficient and provided value for money, as well as guide the university on innovative ways through which they could raise money to support government’s efforts.

Dr Prempeh said in order for the university to deliver on its mandate and position it as a centre of excellence, there was the need for the council to provide  leadership that would establish and strengthen the appropriate organisational structures and systems.

On his part, the Chairman of the Council, Nana Effah Apenteng expressed his gratitude to the President for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to work to ensure that the mission and vision of the university was achieved.

He said even though resources remained a challenge, the council would provide the needed leadership to ensure that they increased the internally generated funds to assist in the development of the institution.

By Cliff Ekuful

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