Hall Conversion: Govt’s hands tied; it’s University Council that decides – Education Minister Napo

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Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh

Government has maintained its stance on the conversion of halls of residence at Ghana’s public universities has not changed.

Education Minister, Dr. Opoku Prempeh, clarified that a recent letter from the Education Ministry on the conversion of halls at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) emphasized the government’s position on the conversion policy.

Speaking to journalists in Kumasi, the Minister said the decision to re-convert the halls to their exclusive all-male status, ultimately lies with the University Council.

“Government position has been well stated. Ultimately, it is the University Council that decides. I will not change government’s policy on the whim. Government has stated its aversion to the policy and that policy, in as much as it affects any hall is a policy the government is against. That is government’s position. Probably people do not read well.”

“Government talked about its aversion to the policy. I wrote to the Chairman of the University Council, expressing government’s position on the mixed hall policy and it is about the policy, it is not about Katanga,” the Minister explained.

The government had urged authorities of the school to reconsider their decision of turning all-male Katanga Hall into a mixed one.

Mr. Prempeh in a letter to the Chairman of the University Council on Thursday explained that the move is “to preserve a peaceful and conducive environment for academic work and cordial relationship in the University.”

Tension has been building up at KNUST recently after the conversion of the traditionally single-sex halls into a mixed one.

The KNUST Registrar, Andrews Kwasi Boateng, on Thursday called for calm following heightened tension on campus.

He said the university is not insensitive to concerns raised by stakeholders concerning the conversions.

Mr Kwasi Boateng assured the university community as well as the general public that, the Chancellor is currently studying a committee report on the development.

This was formed when tensions arising out of the conversions, led to a closure of the university last year.

By J. Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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