Republic Of Legon Slaps Government

The Flagstaff House and the Ministry of Education, has been swerved by the University of Ghana Council by hastily re-appointing Prof. Ernest Aryeetey as Vice Chancellor for a second term, five clear months ahead of the expiration of his current tenure, this year. The Herald, last week Wednesday, reported ongoing discussions within the corridors of power not to have Prof. Aryeetey, who has shown gross disrespect towards Government, not to have his appointment extended, when his present term expires in July, this year. But in a surprise move, Prof. Aryeetey’s re-appointment was decided at the University Council’s meeting last Thursday, March 27, 2014; a total slap in the face of Government which appointed the chairman of the University Council, Prof. Samuel Kofi Date-Baah and three others namely; Prof. John Meyer Hyde, Mrs. Elizabeth Adabor, and Prof. Robert Domingo Baeta. It is not yet clear, whether the four individuals consulted Government ahead of the re-appointment of the Vice Chancellor, nicknamed “Idi Amin” after the late Ugandan Military dictator, for his unpopular and brutish decisions, which had Parliament discussing curbing some of the act under which the University is run. Prof. Aryeetey, claims he wants to transform the state-owned University into a world class tertiary school, but this appears to be based solely on expensive procurements and collection of monies from people. He recently, closed all entrances, except the Okponglo entrance to traffic, insisting on motorists using a special University of Ghana (UG) sticker sold at GH˘400 per annum. This was after he had erected tollbooths collecting monies from motorists, using the campus as thoroughfare. The situation has since created a huge traffic on the Madina-Accra Highway, Haatso-West Lands-GIMPA roads, as well as Haatso-Atomic Junction Roads. He wanted to introduce a feeding programme for students, which saw stiff opposition from the student body and was, therefore, put on hold pending review. He procured some security doors at very exorbitant prices to be fixed on the various halls, lecture theatres and other facilities owned by the university. The procurement pegged at over 1.3 million pounds sterling, has angered some of the students, especially those of Commonwealth Hall. Prof. Aryeetey, has also abolished the ‘perching’ system, where students without residences on campus shared accommodation space with their colleagues. He scrapped that system as part of a decongestion exercise in the halls of residence. Academically, he is phasing out all diploma programmes with the intention of focusing the University’s attention on research work. Interestingly, even the respected University of London is still running diploma programmes and presently collecting huge sums of Pound Sterling from students, including Ghanaians interested in reading their courses. Again, University of London runs Business, LLB, Marketing, Accounting and other programme in most English-speaking countries in Africa and Asia, and charging thousands of Pounds Sterling, while the UG is only interested in shutting down opportunities for students. It has also been noted that the university was still running programmes, which do not meet the demands of the Ghanaian job market. Indeed, Archaeology, Zoology, Drumming and Dancing (Dondology), Political Science, History are still an integral part of the curriculum for a school, without even a small zoo or digging archaeological sites. President John Mahama, recently expressed his desire to see all universities in Ghana sitting down in a meeting to come out with relevant programmes, which answers the mass unemployment situation in the country, but that meeting is yet to materialize.