Policy research and advocacy NGO, Africa Education Watch, is demanding the complete scrapping of the Public Universities Bill.
This is after the Bill was put on hold by legislators.
According to the Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu Kotoe, the Education Committee of Parliament had recommended that there was a need for further deliberations to be held before the Bill is considered.
But Africa Education Watch insists that the complete withdrawal of the Bill is the only desired outcome.
“We once again reiterate our position, which is widely held by Civil Society and academia that, should there even be a genuine intention by the government to promote accountability and transparency in Public Tertiary Institutions, the fact that the Bill has a tendency to dilute the independence of Public Universities and stifle academic freedom makes it a non-starter, as it may create even greater problems than the one it professes to solve,” it said in a statement.
A lot of the contentions with the Bill have been its threat to academic freedom as the government looks to increase government representation on public boards to promote accountability, among others.
“Accountability can be exacted within the context of already existing laws and policies that
lack implementation due to poor oversight. We once again, call on the Ministry of Education to immediately withdraw the Bill.”
About the Bill
According to the framers of the Public Universities Bill, it seeks to harmonize the finances, administration, and governance structure of public universities.
The Bill, when passed, will give the government power to appoint the majority of members of the University Council.
The Council then has the power to appoint and fire public university officials.
It also gives effect to the University Council to control the finances of the university and determine the allocation of funds.
In addition, there is a proposal to rename four public universities after various personalities.