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UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA CLOSES AS STUDENTS RAMPAGE AFTER STAFF SACKINGS

General News

The University of Education, Winneba (UEW) closed down yesterday following violent student protests against a decision by the Vice-Chancellor, Reverend Father Professor Anthony Afful-Broni, to dismiss three lecturers from the institution.

The University of Education, Winneba (UEW) closed down yesterday following violent student protests against a decision by the Vice-Chancellor, Reverend Father Professor Anthony Afful-Broni, to dismiss three lecturers from the institution.

Announcing the university’s closure, the Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, who is also chairman of the regional security council (REGSEC), said the action had been influenced by a spate of insecurity on campus.

Students were asked to leave the premises by 6pm yesterday.

Claimed “crisis”

The students claimed there was a leadership crisis at the university and therefore called for the reinstatement of the three sacked lecturers.

The three former members of staff are Dr Frimpong Kwakye Duku, president of the UEW chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr Emmanuel Osei Sarpong and Professor Ephraim Avea Nsoh, both senior lecturers.

Reports show that what began as a normal student protest on Tuesday escalated on Wednesday as students on the North Campus disrupted classes there and marched to replicate their action at the Central Campus.

Although they were prevented from entering the South Campus by police reinforcements, they began the disturbances again in the evening.

In the course of the protests, buildings and vehicles had windows shattered. Students also blocked roads and burned tyres.

Security personnel were compelled to use tear gas to disperse the protesters yesterday morning. Some of the students are believed to have pelted the police with stones in retaliation, leaving one officer injured.

According to the Regional Minister, the university was closed on the advice of the REGSEC and the move was necessary.

“We cannot continue to allow the university to be in session,” Mr Duncan said.

Knock-on

Speaking with the Daily Statesman on condition of anonymity, a final-year student specialising in basic education said the closure would negatively affect students preparing to write their final examinations.

According to him, final-year students are supposed to submit their project work on April 11 2019. The indefinite closure of UEW will put too much pressure on the whole cohort of those in their last year of study, he said.

He added that supervision of academic work could be gravely affected because ready contact with respective supervisors cannot be ensured, especially as all students have been made to go home.

He made a passionate appeal to the university authorities to “quickly take steps to reopen the university to make way for academic work to resume so that students can continue with their studies”.