KNUST closed down on October 23rd 2018. It's not something that came as a shock. The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) came out this decision for obvious security reasons. Going by the extent of damage caused by the students, they deemed it risky to have students on campus continuously with most of the security gadgets broken down. There was a curfew that was effected form the evening before at 6 pm to 6 am the next day. Students were to vacate the school premises by 12 noon. This included student leaders. The only students allowed within the school are the foreigners who would be under tight security.
The regional minister Mr. Simmons Osei Mensah said that the security risk was too high to allow students to be in school full time after the riots aftermath. According to him, the REGSEC decided on this following the demonstration by students which took place on Monday the 22nd of October. The riots led to a lot of damages that made the school a security risk. As such, after the curfew was lifted, local students were to vacate and leave by noon. Foreign students would be allowed an extension as they stayed in one of the KNUST halls that would be heavily guarded. This was to allow them time to make arrangements to travel back to their countries.
KNUST Ghana student demonstrations
According to KNUST news, students demonstrated to get their grievances heard by the school’s authority as a result of what they termed as injustices against them. The students claimed that the administration had allowed security to harass them any time they were involved in a social activity. The accusation leveled against the school management was that it curtailed the student’s freedom to engage socially. The demonstration followed an incidence that happened the Sunday before where some students clashed with the internal security. The security accused the students of holding an illegal morale gathering which involved beating of drums in celebration. The exchange left one student severely injured as he sustained head injuries. In addition to that, 11 others were taken to the police station.
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KNUST campus in Accra no longer peaceful
The once quiet and peaceful KNUST campus appears to have lost all its calm and tranquility. Some people have suggested that the school administration has lost its control over the students. This is a claim that the public relations officer, Kwame Yeboah was quick to refute as he told Accra’s Starr Fm that the school was still very much in control. According to him, the person who procured the drums for the students was in the custody of the police.
So what is the way forward?
Even though the KNUST website is the official communication channel used by the school, there is nothing substantial about when the school will resume. Simon Onsei Mensah said that after a series of meetings involving the national security and other crucial stakeholders, an agreed date on when students can resume school will be communicated. Chances are that students will get to hear of this officially through the KNUST portal. For official KNUST contact, you may have to visit their website to get correct details on how to contact the school since they are closed down.
With KNUST closed down, students lives may have been saved. Even though the closure may have disrupted learning for a while, the students' safety is always a priority. With security discussion underway, it is expected that the environment will have been enhanced by the time students are recalled.
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