Alumni of the Katanga Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), wants President Akufo Addo to order authorities of the university to rescind their decision to convert the two male halls of the University into mixed halls.
The Alumni say a presidential intervention will help end the ongoing protests that have characterized the conversion of the halls.
Speaking at a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Katanga Alumni Association, Charles Dontoh, said the conversion is unreasonable.
He also complained about the presence of heavy security on campus, saying students are uncomfortable and intimidated by their presence.
“If you went anywhere near the hall you are in trouble, there is a police armored car in front of Katanga hall. We are not in a war zone so we felt that a lot more details are in this petition and we think that it is proper to present it to Mr. President so that he will go through it and make a decision,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo on his part said the Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, will be dispatched to the University to meet authorities before a decision will be taken.
“You would also have to make contact with the University Council to find out what their views are. The views of the Vice-Chancellor are well known. They are public records,” the President said.
Management of the school converted its all-male University and Unity Halls, known as Katanga and Conti respectively, as well as the only female Africa Hall into mixed ones despite protests.
This was after a Kumasi High Court struck out an injunction application case seeking to restrain the management of KNUST from going ahead with the conversion.
Alumni of the Unity and University Halls had sought an injunction application against the conversion. They had argued that the conversion will be eroding the heritage and identity of the halls.
The school’s management says it took the decision in line with the university’s policy of periodic review of Residential Accommodation for students. It said the move was in line with the school’s policy of expanding access to female students who are growing in number.
There are also suggestions that the conversion was done as a measure to curb acts of indiscipline by occupants of the single-sex halls.
The Katanga Alumni Association, has however rejected this, stating that these acts are often perpetuated by persons living in nearby hostels, as the students in the halls are monitored.
The Speaker of the KNUST Parliament, Frank Blay, had earlier urged the school’s management to sanction some security personnel allegedly caught on video assaulting some students.
Frank Blay complained that students are uncomfortable with the heavy and intimidating security on campus.
“They should be apprehended because assault is a crime. We all know that assault is a crime. Sometimes when state institutions embark on some of these reckless acts of lawlessness, they are punished by the state institution authorities.”