Teachers Strikes: Students Want Lasting Solution
A number of senior high school students in Accra have called for a permanent solution to the occasional strikes embarked upon by teachers in the country.
This is to ensure smooth academic activities in the various schools across the country.
In separate interviews with the Junior Graphic, they said strikes negatively affected academic work, and that it was necessary for the government to take steps to dialogue with the teachers to trash out all outstanding issues.
According to them, a permanent solution in addressing the issues of conditions of service and salaries of teachers, among other things, should be clearly spelt out for all to follow.
The students, who made the call following the recent strike embarked upon by the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), are from the Accra Academy, St Thomas Aquinas, Achimota School, Labone Senior High School, Odorgonno Senior High School, Accra High School, Accra Girls Senior High School, Kaneshie Secondary Technical School (KATECO) and the Presbyterian Senior High School, Osu.
While teaching and learning were going on in some classrooms, there were no activities in others, as students were seen chatting. It was at the Achimota School and the Accra Girls SHS that students were in their classrooms; they were being taught when the Junior Graphic visited the schools.
A student of the Accra Academy, Master Prosper Djanie, said the recent strike had slowed down academic activities in the school.
‘It is affecting us because we need the teachers around to teach us. I suggest we have a permanent solution to this problem,’ he said.
Another student from the Accra Academy, Rudolph Fenoo, said students had resorted to taking turns to teach themselves in the absence of the teachers.
Master Ebenezer Oteng of St Thomas Aquinas noted that members of his class normally begged striking teachers who were on campus ‘to come and teach us.’
Master Jeffrey Okyere, also of St Thomas Aquinas, urged teachers to sacrifice a bit more for their students as the government took steps to address their grievances.
‘They should have pity on us and sacrifice a bit because we need them,’ he pleaded.
Nana Karikari of Achimota School believed that the education of Ghanaian children should not be toyed with, and that urgent steps should be taken now to make strikes things of the past.
Master Asante Bediako, also of Achimota School, stressed the need for adequate incentives to be given to teachers to enable them to be in school and give their best.
For her part, Ms Vera Boadi of the Labone SHS challenged the educational authorities and the government ‘to take concrete steps to end the strike by graduate teachers.’
She said although students were learning on their own in the absence of teachers, not every topic in the syllabus could be understood, hence the need for the teachers to come back.
At the Odorgonno SHS, Master Abdul Latif Ahmed and his friends who were seen at the school’s park when the Junior Graphic got to the school, appealed to the striking teachers to call off their strike and return to the classroom.
‘We are their younger brothers and sisters so they have to help us,’ he said.
Alfred Quartey, Henry Larden, Prince Tetteh, Genevieve Dovi, Emmanuel Abbey and Godwin Abbiew from the Accra High SHS, Presec, Osu and KATECO, pleaded with the teachers to return to the classrooms while the government sought solutions to their grievances.
That, they said, was because students were the ones who suffered most whenever there was a strike.
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