With no headway in talks with the University Teachers Association of Ghana(UTAG) to call off their strike, the Africa Education Watch, an education think tank has advised the government to close down public universities across the country till UTAG resumes work.
The education think tank in a statement explained that the increasing social and economic cost of staying on campus with no academic activity, the absence of academic direction for especially freshers on campus and the lack of an imminent negotiated settlement of the impasse it will be in the best interest of students; freshers especially, and their families for the schools to be closed down.
“The strike was declared on January 10, 2022. Majority of students on campus are freshmen who have not even been matriculated. These freshmen have had no academic direction since they arrived in the universities to meet a university community without academic activity or supervision by their lecturers and counsellors due to the strike. Their continuous stay on campus without academic activity has economic and social consequences on them and their families back home, as they continue to incur expenditure they otherwise wouldn’t have incurred if they were home.”
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“On the labour front, five weeks of industrial action is yet to achieve any significant progress in negotiating a settlement to the impasse, ”it added.
Hence Eduwatch is urging the Vice-Chancellors to close down all public universities until the UTAG strike is called off.
The industrial action by the teachers association is to demand better conditions of service, which they have been pursuing for years now.
Per the rules guiding public universities, where there are no teaching activities for 31 days after academic activities have resumed, the school must be closed down.
On Tuesday 8th February 2022, a meeting between the Ministry of Education and UTAG and other stakeholders ended inconclusively and will continue today, Thursday.
The meeting was necessary following the High Court order to the National Labour Commission and UTAG have an out of court settlement following a suit filed by the NLC.