The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), Kofi Asare, has called for the closure of all public universities until the impasse between the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and government is resolved.
His call emanates from the unwanted loitering of students, especially the first-year students of the various universities without any proper orientation, matriculation or socialization into the university system due to the strike action.
“It has been 22 working days since members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) embarked on an industrial strike demanding enhanced conditions of service. The strike was declared on the 10th of January 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 counselors due to the strike,” he said.
In addition, he emphasized that 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.
On the labour front, the five weeks of industrial action is yet to achieve any significant progress in negotiating a settlement to the impasse. Even though the court ordered both feuding parties to resolve the issues amicably out of court, that directive is yet materialize.
In view of the increasing social and economic cost of staying on campus with no academic activity, the absence of academic direction for freshmen on campus, and the apparent lack of an imminent negotiated settlement of the impasse, it will be in the best interest of students; freshmen especially, and their families for the schools to be closed down.
“We therefore call on Vice Chancellors to close down all public universities until the UTAG strike is called off,” he iterated.