The Immediate Past Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast
(UCC), Prof. George K. T. Oduro has cautioned against the partisan polarisation
of student leadership, saying, “This is where student leaders tend to lead
students through political party lenses rather than student interest lenses”.
“Student unity is now threatened by political party infiltration, student welfare has been subjected to political party welfare and subjected to the social diseases of self-centredness, disunity, and violence,” he said.
He also said that: “What students are not conscious about is that politicians are the beneficiaries of a divided student movement.”
Prof. Oduro was speaking at the launch of the 56th SRC Week celebration of the University of Cape Coast on the theme: “University students as pioneers of sustainable national peace and stability.”
Prof. Oduro who is a professor of educational leadership and administration in higher education at the Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), UCC noted that the greatest threat to developing a peaceful co-existence mindset in students was political party polarisation.
“Partisan polarisation is fast permeating every aspect of our economic sector to the extent that even universities that are supposed to be a-political by nature is being threatened by political interferences and manipulations,” he said.
He indicated that the more politically divided student leaders were the less conscious they were about policies that adversely affected the generality of students.
He said: “This trend must change if students are to be at the forefront of promoting peace for sustained national development.”
Prof. Oduro, therefore, admonished student leaders to eschew self-centredness and politically triggered divisions among students.
He reiterated the need for students to uphold truth and champion the cause of the voiceless and the powerless in the society.
Touching on the Public Universities Bill 2019, Prof. Oduro indicated that the bill was “ridiculously not completed, contextually unworkable and operationally suppressive” with the tendency of killing academic freedom and autonomy, which he noted, were key ingredients in creating congenial teaching and learning atmosphere on university campuses.
He urged students in the country to study the bill and refrain from staying on the fence for the sake of political convenience.
He further urged students to uphold critical mindedness and objectivity in institutional and national discourses, asking them to give praise where praise was due and condemn where condemnation was due.
He stated that: “It is only when students speak for the voiceless, move beyond partisan politics in their actions and advocate for justice in national initiatives that sustainable national peace and stability could be ensured and assured.”
From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Cape Coast