Parliament will not act as a rubber stamp in the processes leading to the passage of the Public Universities Bill. This is according to the Minister for Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
The Bill entered the consideration stage after its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, where the Minority threatened to withdraw their support if their request for further consultation is ignored.
However, speaking to Citi News, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh allayed fears of stakeholders.
“The ranking member of the Committee attested to the fact that the Universities were consulted and it is their proposal that they brought in that led to a large number of amendment. Of course, when bills are brought, Parliament is not a rubber stamp.
“Parliament invites stakeholder memorandum and there were 38 memoranda that were brought so Parliament will listen and if there are amendments that is the word of Parliament. I do not remember a single bill that came and went back the same.”
The Minority in Parliament, during the debate, expressed conditional support for the other processes to get the Bill passed.
It was also concerned with consultation from groups that wrote to it during the period of recess by the House.
What did the Education Committee of Parliament say?
The Education Committee in presenting its recommendations on the bill to the House noted that the Bill is important for the “governance architecture of public universities.”
It further said the Bill seeks to present an “equitable opportunity for all qualified applicants” in the country.
“The Bill provides important reforms for improvement in the governance architecture of public universities. The Bill further improves the admission process and create equal and equitable opportunity for all qualified applicants to access higher education, irrespective of their economic circumstances.”
“In particular, the standardisation of key governance structures across all public universities will inject more efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of public universities.”