The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is unhappy with President Nana Akufo-Addo concerning his response to critics who have expressed divergent views on the Universities Bill which is yet to be laid in parliament.
Mr Akufo-Addo insists the new Universities Bill will not, in any way, undermine academic freedom in public universities as being peddled by critics.
Addressing the first session of the University of Professional Studies’ 11th Congregation at the UPSA Auditorium, President Akufo-Addo said: “The flimsy allegations being perpetrated that the bill will undermine academic freedom are deliberate mischief-making and disingenuous”.
In a statement released on Thursday, 4 July 2019, UTAG National President, Dr Eric Opoku Mensah, said the association “finds the President’s description of the differing views by our cherished members of UTAG on the bill as unfortunate”.
He emphasised that: “UTAG also finds the description worrying and prejudicial, particularly when the Ministry of Education has assured us that it is considering the concerns of UTAG and those of other stakeholders before the bill is tabled before parliament”.
He underscored the importance to review the bill and further consultations before being laid in parliament and added that: “UTAG is strongly opposed to the Bill in its current form and that the proposed bill should be improved from its ‘zero draft stage’ to incorporate the critical views which have been expressed by key stakeholders”.
Dr Mensah said their position “will not change until the key concern of UTAG has been addressed in the good interest of public universities and Ghana.”.
“We wish to caution that failure to broadly consult could portend great danger for the smooth running of public universities in Ghana and UTAG should not be blamed if that becomes the case,” he concluded.