The eruption of pandemonium on the campus of KNUST has raised grave concerns nationally and beyond. It is evident to all that two extreme factions have broken out in the heated debate on defending the rightness of the actions of students/university authorities and the accumulated grievances of students that ignited this mayhem.
I wish to be very objective with my submission and not fall for the sentiments of the two extreme positions. Clearly, this is a battle between the university students and the authorities of the university. As an alumnus of this institution of great repute, having pursued my bachelors and masters degree there, I surely have a stake.
I believe the university has a major responsibility to train students to be critical thinkers and equip them with the requisite knowledge, skills, morals and ethics to qualify them to be entrusted with the future of the nation. The university is the highest learning center, on that ground, the students the university produce automatically become the hope of the nation. As a country, we must begin to think deeply and not resort to half-baked solutions.
The university authorities and the student body have both resorted to primitive means of implementing policies and seeking redress respectively. I believe the protest of the students was to be a non-violent demonstration, just having to boycott lectures and as a group express their piled-up disquietude to bring to the notice of all stakeholders. Sadly, it took a different turn. May be, one might call it humanity’s spontaneous reaction.
Nevertheless, I want to explicitly state that what is wrong is wrong and that which is right is right regardless of who preaches it and who does it. It is said that no written word nor spoken plea can teach our youth what they should do nor all the books on all the shelves. It is what the teachers are themselves.
If our teachers have been able to execute the responsibility of imparting deep knowledge and high solid thinking coupled with sound morals, would we have witnessed this rather disappointing, awkward and scandalous incident? I will in no day advocate for or second violence as a resort for redresses, however, the human being regardless of who and what he/she is, has the propensity to resist oppression of any kind by anyone, in any day and at anywhere. What has been witnessed is a clear indication of failure on the part of teachers/authorities to have been an embodiment of good virtues our young could have imitated.
The university management with all their explanations should not forget it is, government/power of the people, by the people and for the people, and should, thus, critically consider the plight of the people they rule. On the other hand, students should remember that knowledge is instructions and if we have serious concerns to address, we must call for higher-order thinking and restrained actions in our bid to solve our problems.
We are the hope of the nation, hence, any act of immaturity, lawlessness, destruction, etc on our part portray to the rest of the populace and the international community we cannot fully exercise our intellectual capacity to address the challenges we face.
Challenges come unbidden and their inevitability is a certainty, so, we must begin to learn how to approach our difficulties, challenges, incidence of injustice, however we may label it, with thoughtfulness and discernment.
On this note, I wish to appeal to leaders of the state to lead by example. We, the youth, are not oblivious of what they do and what they are made of. No one is safe in the hands of the youth, ergo, politicizing this will not result in any positive end.
Thank you. Yours faithfully,
SHERIFF ASIEDU AMPEM ALHASSAN
(IELTS TUTOR, C.E.O - ZEST CONSULT)
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]