The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has thrown its unflinching support behind the decision taken by the authorities of the University of Education, Winneba to close down the school and all its campuses across the country.
The president of the UTAG, Harry Agbanu, in an interview, told this paper that the association is solidly behind the action taken by the registrar of the school, following a court ruling that the activities currently performed by the school’s council was illegal.
The University of Education, Winneba (UEW), in a press statement signed and issued on Tuesday, this week, indicated that all of its campuses will remain closed until Friday, June 16, 2017.
It said “in line with the decision of the court, the members of the University Community, comprising UTAG executives, Deans, Heads of Department and representatives of Senior Members therefore decided to shut down the University until Friday, 16th June, 2017 when the substantive case will be heard. The decision has arisen as a result of implementing the Judge’s directive that the Principal Officers of the University be restrained from working until Friday, 16th June, 2017 and also the fact that other management members, Principals, Deans and Deputy Registrars were appointed by the Councils whose authority are being challenged.”
According to Mr. Agbanu, since the court has restricted the smooth operations of the entire University Governing Council, it makes absolute sense for the school authorities who will be doing nothing in the school to shut down the school and wait patiently for the final ruling of the court.
“They claim the Governing Council’s term has expired and so its activities are illegal and for that matter the school authorities should stop their various functions of running the school. And this is exactly what would happen if you tell someone to stop something that he is doing, so we, as the University Teachers Association of Ghana, we are in full support of the stand to shut down the university,”
One Supi Kofi Kwayera, a resident of Winneba, last month sued the University of Education Winneba (UEW), and the Education Ministry for what he said was the unlawful extension of the school’s Governing Council’s tenure.
The Council’s term in office was extended after their mandatory four- year term expired in 2013 by the former Minister of Education, Professor Naana Opoku Agyeman, citing a protracted election petition in 2013 and some challenges facing the education sector for the central government as her ministry’s decision.
But Mr. Kofi Kwayera, in a suit filed at a Winneba High Court, wants all the decisions taken by the Council to be declared null and void.
He is seeking the declaration that the extension of the mandate of the Governing Council by the University and the Education Ministry was in breach of Section 8 of Act 972 and praying further for the court to nullify contracts signed by the University, including a contract to Sparkxx Ghand Limited, Paabadu Construction and C-Deck.
“A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding between Ghana Highway Authority and the 1st Respondent (University of Winneba) was a sham and used as a decoy to embezzle public funds,” the suit has said.
There is also payment made to Lamas Limited for a project executed for the University which the petitioner, Mr. Kwayera, wants it refunded since it was not done with written consent of the Ghana Highway Authority.
“A declaration that all payments made to Lamas Ltd were done without the express written consent of the Ghana Highway Authority, and in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding and same must be refunded. A declaration that the illegally appointed Principal Officers of the 1st Respondent willfully misappropriated public funds by failing to put to public tender for the construction of the North campus road and thereby causing financial loss to the state,” he averred.