Head of the Political Science Department in the University of Ghana, Dr. Alidu Seidu has highlighted the impact of national political parties on student leaderships.
He was speaking on Campus Exclusive addressing concerns being raised over the involvement of bipartisan political bodies in student leadership in tertiary institutions.
This comes after a video surfaced on the internet displaying the University of Ghana’s Students Representative Council (UGSRC) President, Martin Boakye Gyasi seemingly endorsing candidate for NPP Flagbearership, Alan Kyerematen.
According to Dr. Seidu, the involvement of political parties in student leadership can lead to the these student leaders contradicting government through the influence of views and opinions.
“I think political parties interference in student parties have a lot of advantages and advantages. Some of the disadvantages include the fact that if they are able to have a grip on student leadership for student leaders to champion their views and interests, it could contradict with that of government.”
He however added that the involvement also creates an avenue for students leaders to become national leaders innthe future.
“But the good thing too is that it provides a link to which student leaders can eventually graduate to become national leaders.”
Dr. Seidu further noted that the influence of national politics on student leadership in tertiary bodies is inevitable.
“Politicians will forever have an interest in student (leadership) bodies. Whether it is JCR, SRC, GRASAG, NUGS, …they definitely want to have a role so that they will know who they are dealing with and how they can manipulate that person behind the scenes.”
Dr. Seidu however encouraged students, especially political science students to volunteer for opportunities in the political parties’ offices to expose them to the practicality of what they study in class.
“So I will encourage our students here, student leaders and general political science students to volunteer themselves for those kind of [political] positions. It creates the network for you, it exposes you to the practicality of what you learn and it gives you the experience to be able to manage your own people when you are given a student leadership or any other position for that matter.”
Dr. Seidu however advised circumspection to students in making political aspirations.
“But [students] have to be very circumspective and choose [their] approach or methodology very carefully, because the politics we do here is highly vindictive and if [they] miss one step, your whole political career or aspiration will come crumbling on you.”
Story by | Cindy Selasi Humade | univers.ug.edu.gh