Alumni of University Hall, also known as Katanga, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has warned that women may face a harsh academic environment if the all-male hall converted into a mixed one.
Greater Accra Press secretary of the University Hall Alumni, Raymond Laud, has said the women students who will be sent to the hall might not be safe even though the university plans to provide them security.
“If you send girls there, you are saying you going to provide them with security. Why would you provide them security? It is because you know they will not be okay?”
“Do you think they will have the sound mind to be in Katanga to study?” Mr. Laud also questioned.
“This is a long-standing culture. These are long-standing values that people have shared. It is folklore. It is a tradition you must maintain.”
Culture of silence
Mr. Laud also believes the conversion into a mixed hall will dilute the hall’s culture of advocacy.
“It is only Katanga that advocated for students rights,” he remarked.
“We are of the view that once you mix the boys with women, there will be silence… when have you heard that Independence Hall, or Republic Hall or Queen Elizabeth Hall have come out to agitate on something? They don’t.”
The KNUST management is also seeking to convert Unity Hall, also known as Conti, into a mixed hall.
The school has said the conversion would increase female enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education as well as increase the female population in the school.
The Education Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has also backed the attempted conversion.
But Unity Hall has argued that the conversion is discriminatory and has sued the university.
“…Unity Hall, just like Africa Hall, was envisaged by the Universtiy’s forebearers for a continental remembrance hence, the full name of the Hall being Continental Unity Hall and also so its character and nature as an all-male hall of residence must be left to stand as a legacy just like Africa Hall being left to stand as an all-female hall of residence, as this entire vision adds to the uniqueness of institution. And seeking to alter the nature of only Unity Hall is discriminatory.”