Academic work at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) is under threat following the expiration of the mandate of its council.
The term of the council ended in 2013, but government, through the Ministry of Education, has failed to constitute a new council.
Speaking to Class News’ parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan, in an exclusive interview, Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Affenyo Markin, said there is a looming academic crisis if a new council is not put in place as soon as possible.
“I raised this issue of the University of Education, Winneba Council, which, per the law that established the university, the council’s term is for two years renewable. As you may be aware the council’s mandate expired in 2013, so, basically, this urgent question seeks to know from the Minister of Education when a new council will be reconstituted”, he said.
“This is a public university with international reputation and if we do not allow due process and the law that established the university to operate, you never know when somebody will take up a matter, which will embarrass the university and it is my constituency, anything that goes wrong there affects the image of the constituency and its people. So, we want the university [and] the Ministry of Education to come and explain why the delay in reconstituting a new council and when the Ministry intends to nominate persons to be appointed by the president in consultation with the council of state”, Mr Markin noted.
According to the Effutu legislator, attempts by the registrar of the university and himself to get the Ministry to reconstitute a new council have fallen on deaf ears.
“…I have written to the Ministry of Education drawing the attention of the Minister to this. As far as I know, the registrar of the university wrote to the Ministry long ago to deal with this matter, so, perhaps, if it is an issue of administratively somebody overlooking it, then it is time for them to respect the law. It is a big university with international reputation and with partners all over that award degrees, make certain appointments, [and] spend public money. We would not want a situation where anything will happen that will embarrass the university and the constituency. It is just a signal that the Ministry of Education through the Minister should ensure that the right thing is done for the benefit of the university”.
He advised that the Ministry acts swiftly on the matter before someone drags the university to court for not having a council yet awarding degrees.
“…The university council has the power to confer degrees, so, if obviously there is no council and degrees are being conferred, there is an issue, but I believe that the necessary bodies that are there, I will call subsidiary bodies such as the academic board and all that, and if the Ministry swiftly deals with this, it will help forestall a lot because if care is not taken, this matter could end up in court and why should we allow the court to compel us when we know the needful can be done in accordance with the law”.
The university’s mandate is to produce professional educators to spearhead a national vision of education aimed at redirecting Ghana’s effort along the path of rapid economic and social development.
UEW started as a University College in 1992 under PNDC Law 322. UEW brought together seven diploma awarding colleges – the Advanced Teacher Training College, the Specialist Training College and the National Academy of Music all located at Winneba; the School of Ghana Languages, Ajumako; College of Special Education, Akwapim-Mampong; the Advanced Technical Training College, Kumasi; and the St. Andrews Agricultural Training College, Mampong-Ashanti.
The University operates from four Campuses (Winneba, Kumasi, Mampong and Ajumako) and a number of Distance Education Study Centres. The Winneba Campus houses the main administration, and the seat of the Vice-Chancellor.