Following the Tertiary Education Workers Union (TEWU) strike, students and some staff of tertiary institutions in Tamale have been compelled to take up cleaning work on the campuses by themselves, thereby affecting academic work.
A visit to campuses of the University for Development Studies (UDS) and Tamale Technical University (TaTU) saw some students taking time off academic work to clean their lecture halls, while some of the management staff also cleaned up places like the library, computer laboratories, among other places, to ensure academic work continues.
Some of the students and lecturers who spoke to the B&FT on condition of anonymity expressed their displeasure about the situation, especially for the reason that it delays academic work – hence their call on government to expedite action and address the issue with TEWU so they can concentrate on learning.
“We have already spent much time in the house due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and the students need to cover a lot before end of the semester or trimester; and if it continues, it will affect the students, especially the practical-based courses that the students need before going out of school,” one of the lecturers said.
The president of the Pharmacy Students Association, UDS branch, Nyarfo Kelvin, in an interview with the B&FT said students within the faculty had to be mobilised to help clean some of the lecture halls and science laboratories, as well as premises of the department, to make the environment tidy for learning and living.
He therefore appealed that government, as a matter of urgency, should come to an amicable solution with TEWU on the matter – which relates to unpaid salary arears that have kept the union on strike for the past two weeks.
According to the local chairman at UDS, Sule Abdul Rahman who spoke to the B&FT in an interview, TEWU has reaffirmed its decision to continue with the strike pending negotiations with government.
He added that previous discussions have not been successful, as the union was not pleased with the outcome of what government proposed – hence their continuation of the strike action. He stressed that the strike will continue until leadership see commitment from government thjat is favourable to the union.