KNUST management, alumni call for calm as ‘hall conversion brouhaha’ lingers

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Management of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the global alumni association of the school have urged for calm following what appears to be renewed agitations over the conversion of halls of residence there.

In separate statements, the two bodies asked students, alumni and other interested parties to be patient and await the recommendations of the committee set up to look into the change of the single-sex halls to mixed ones.

The KNUST management reiterated that they have always been sensitive to concerns and are committed to addressing same.

“The committee’s report is currently being studied by the Chancellor and Management awaits same for due implementation of the recommendations thereof. We, in the circumstances, wish to reiterate Management’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Committee. ln the meantime, we urge all concerned parties to exercise the utmost restraint to allow peace to prevail, particularly in the interest of academic work and activities in the University,” the management stated.

Message from the global alumni

On the other hand, the old students in their release noted with grave concern the purported threats of violence by some unknown individuals on campus.

It said, the resolution of the issues, rests with the Chancellor and that they are confident of a favourable outcome hence their call for calm.

“The Global KNUST Alumni Association therefore fully support the call by the SRC & GRASAG for all to remain calm and avoid any form of violent confrontations which will potentially disrupt the 2019/2020 academic calendar and bring the name of the University into disrepute. We, TEKNOKRATS, stand prepared at all times to engage all stakeholders of the University in resolving this impasse in a peaceful manner. We, therefore, stand together with all well-meaning Ghanaians to protect the KNUST brand and image.”

Already, the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) had declared the KNUST campus as a security zone.

This follows what the council says is intelligence it has gathered that some alumni are instigating their members and students to engage in activities that will disturb academic work and peace on the campus

The Council has also served notice that it shall ensure strict enforcement of the laws concerning public order, whenever they are breached.

Background

This development emanates from the conversion of two male halls in the school to mixed ones which led to students riot and subsequent destruction of properties estimated at over GHc1.6 million.

The rioting also led to the temporary closure of the university.

It escalated from a demonstration in protest of the arrest of 10 students and one alumnus of the school.

The students were arrested for organizing a vigil on campus without permission according to the school authorities.

Although a committee was set up to look into the matter, much has neither been seen nor heard from the committee.



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