Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah has urged the Governing Council for University of Education, Winneba (UEW) to restore calm following a protest by students over the dismissal of some senior staff of the school.
The Minister made the appeal while addressing the press after meeting with school authorities for several hours.
Giving details of what was discussed at the meeting, the Minister said “ the issue that emerged between us in the interaction was for the Council to take whatever steps that are necessary to ensure that peace and harmony returns to campus within the shortest possible term to ensure that normal academic work resumes and that the students go back to school and the lecturers continue teaching if they have boycotted classes.”
Professor Yankah also urged calm among the agitated students and asked them to return to their classrooms on Wednesday.
“We realized that you have spent the two days protesting, which also means there has been no learning. I am urging you to go back to school.”
The students are protesting the recent dismissal of some senior staff of the school by the Vice Chancellor.
The focus of the protest was on Dr. Emmanuel Osei Sarpong, whose appointment was terminated by the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Afful Broni.
Some students feel his sacking and a number of other dismissals as well are an act of sabotage, adding that they will demonstrate until their demands are met.
“No Dr. Sarpong, no UEW,” a student yelled to Citi News during the Tuesday morning protest.
“The management should bring him back that is all. Who is going to teach us nutrition? We need Dr. Sarpong right now,” another student added.
Some students said they were boycotting lectures until he is reinstated.
“Level 400s are graduating in July. If the council knew he had done this and he was going to be sacked, why did they give him students to handle and now these students are supposed to graduate in July.”
Dr. Sarpong’s sacking
According to the Disciplinary Board findings in the letter terminating his appointment, Dr. Sarpong admitted walking out of a meeting with the chairman of the UEW governing council which “the Board considered as insubordination and thus misconduct.”
He is also said to have “cunningly orchestrated the posting of” letters inviting him “to appear before the Disciplinary Board to be circulated on social media, particularly on UEW Alumni WhatsApp page just to cause disaffection for the UEW Management.”
The disciplinary board said these actions, among others “amounted to grave misconduct.”
Dr Duku claims innocence
Dr. Frimpong Kakyire Duku, the President of the UEW branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) who was also dismissed maintained that he did no wrong to warrant his dismissal from the university.
Dr. Duku was dismissed by the university together with Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh, the Principal of the College of Languages Education.
He maintained in a Citi News interview that he did not breach any internal regulations as stated in his letter of dismissal.
The letter outlining his dismissal said, “the Disciplinary Board set up at the instance of the Vice-Chancellor to further investigate your conduct in respect of court action you initiated together with six other staff who were asked to step aside.”