President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

It’s time the Akufo-Addo NPP government drops the needless Public Universities Bill 2020. The Bill is not designed to fix any of the challenges our public universities face. Rather, it is crafted to give the executive arm of government absolute control over our public universities.

The efforts by government through the Ministry of Education to bring into existence a needless law/act to govern our public universities has united key stakeholders in higher education. UTAG, TEWU, Vice Chancellors, University Councils, former Vice Chancellors, Public spirited persons and NOW the Academy of Arts and Sciences, are all opposed to the government proposed Public Universities Bill.

So far all stakeholders (except government), including the NDC Minority in Parliament, have separately and independently reached the same conclusions on the proposed Public Universities Bill; that it’s needless and totally unnecessary.

Clearly opposition to the Bill is organic and resolute. Evenso, I feel obligated to share the summary conclusion of the position of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the subject matter. For those who may not have paid attention to the Academy or taken note of its activities, the mission of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences is to encourage the creation, acquisition, dissemination and utilization of knowledge for national development through the promotion of learning. The role, contribution, status and image of the Academy, founded in 1959 by the the founder of our nation, Osagyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, remain stellar and impeccable. Thus, it’s position in opposition to the Bill must count.

In rejecting the proposed Public Universities Bill 2020 in a seven paged position paper, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, concludes as follows:

“It is the considered view of the Academy that the Public University Bill, 2020 is unnecessary and likely to set the institutions several dcades back. The approach to higher education governance envisioned in the Bill flies in the face of accumulated knowledge on the growth of universities worldwide and current global trends toward differentiation and diversification.

Rather, Ghana needs a differentiated and diversified, but not necessarily hierarchical, university system, to offer the flexibility needed to address the changing needs of students and nations in an increasingly competitive and uncertain world. The Bill is also not in conformity with the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and is likely to be retrogressive, rather than enhancing what Ghanaian universities have achieved over the course years.” — Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

If the Akufo-Addo NPP government believes in stakeholder positions, values stakeholder consultations, it ought to immediately abandon the Public University Bill.

As pungently stated by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Public University Bill, 2020 is unnecessary and likely to set the institutions several decades back.

In other words the Bill is needless, totally unnecessary and will negatively affect the management and functionality of our Public Universities.

Mr. President, drop the Bill.

I remain a citizen.

Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament