Monday, February 25, 2013

Keep politics out of student leadership

For Atlantic FM - Cape Coast Ghana, broadcast on 25.2.2013

The University of Cape Coast's Student Representative Council (SRC) needs to keep the individuals and
their politics out of student leadership.

At a public lecture today as part of the UCC SRC 50th anniversary celebrations, UCC professor
George K.T. Oduro told the student audience it was important that their council remained non-
partisan in the face of pressure from political parties on campus.

The lecture, based on the impact of student leadership on tertiary education and social change, used
the UCC SRC as a case study.

Professor Oduro, who was the UCC SRC President from 1992- 1993 and then the president of the
National Union of Ghana Students emphasised the need to remain non-partisan as student leaders
and be inclusive of all faiths and ethnicities, as the student leaders were the mouthpiece of their
diverse student colleagues.

“One feature of the student movement is that it is a-political, it is a-political because membership
of the movement come from different political divides, they come from different religious divides,
they come from different ethnic divides so the movement does not adopt that notion or phenomena
of tribalism, partisan, imperialism and all the isms.”

Professor Oduro also spoke about student leadership's importance, from Ghana's independence to
the present day, saying it is student leaders who initiate social change and in doing so, shape the
image of the university.

“The fight against colonisation could not have been accelerated if the student moment, or for that
instance student leaders did not take the first steps.

“For instance our former first president Kwame Nkrumah was a member of the West Africa
Students Association and played a pivotal role in accelerating the decolonisation process.

“Students can never be taken out of the political history of our nation,” he said.