Katanga, Unity residents hit streets of Accra to protest unisex hall plans

Katanga, Unity residents hit streets of Accra to protest unisex hall plans
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com| Oswald K Azumah| oswald.azumah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 10-08-2018 Time: 03:08:21:pm

In a rare case of unity of purpose, University Hall and Unity Hall, have embarked on a demonstration against a decision by the university authorities to convert their all-male halls into a unisex hall.

The two halls have gained a notorious reputation of engaging in violent clashes but on Friday, their interests were aligned with students of the two halls singing the same chorus- “we don’t want females in our halls".

Residents and past students of the two halls of Kumasi-based Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology converged in the capital, Accra and embarked on a mammoth demonstration against plans to convert the all-male halls to unisex.

Management of the university earlier this year announced its plans to do the unprecedented, assign female students to the two halls. Their reason, the increasing numbers need to be taken care of.

But both current residents of the two halls and alumni are united in the fight to stop these plans, arguing “robbing Peter to pay Paul makes no sense”.

Some of the demonstrators Friday told Joy News that these halls are already full, so to bring in females would mean kicking some of the male students out.

“Some of the school authorities tell us that the female students who live in hostels outside campus get attacked in the evenings when they are leaving campus, are they saying that male students have the courage and bullet proof vests to survive in the wild,” one of them said.

Related: The thing is a brand, converting to mixed hall emotionally traumatising - 'Katangees' mount resistance

Responding to their next line of action should the Education Minister refuse to heed their petition, one of them suggested they would force their will through.

“When we reach the bridge, we’ll cross it,” he said.

It’s a tradition

The residents of the two halls also argue that the current gender status of the halls has become a tradition and seeking to change it would be inimical to the values they hold so dear.

"I don't think any parent would allow the daughter to go to Katanga or Unity [Hall]; I believe strongly that," the spokesperson for the alumni, Collins Kankam-Kwarteng, told Joy News earlier in July.

Related: KNUST sued over decision to convert Unity Hall

In a related development, some alumni of Unity hall have dragged the university to court over the issue.

Among other reliefs, they are asking the court to grant "A perpetual injunction restraining the defendants [KNUST] or their successors from ever attempting to alter the character and nature of Unity Hall as an all-male hall to a mixed-sex hall".