Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Minister of Education
The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) says it is disappointed in the Ministry of Education’s claim that the Ebola disease is reason for its directive asking tertiary institutions to delay re-opening.
The Union is of the opinion that the Ministry cannot cite preparations for a possible Ebola outbreak as the reason for its directive since the international students are already on campus.
The Education Ministry has directed all tertiary institutions to indefinitely suspend the re-opening of schools as steps are being taken by the Health Ministry and other stakeholders to prevent an outbreak of the Ebola disease in Ghana.
The directive was given following the large number of international students who are pursuing various degree programmes in tertiary schools in Ghana.
With the outbreak of the Ebola disease in some West African states, the government is instituting measures to protect Ghanaians from contracting the disease.
Some of the measures include the three-month ban of international conferences in the country and the screening of travellers coming into Ghana.
Authorities at the University of Ghana and the Students Representative Council (SRC) have been meeting to devise ways to adequately protect students from the deadly virus which has claimed over a 1,000 lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
But speaking in an interview with Citi News , the Press and Information Secretary of NUGS, Raymond Akilu called on the Ministry to stop using Ebola as a decoy and address the strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
UTAG has been on strike for about three weeks now following the refusal of government to pay its research and book allowance.
Their strike was preceded by an ongoing strike by polytechnic teachers over the same issue.
Akilu said NUGS is convinced the main reason for the Ministry’s instruction to tertiary schools has to do with UTAG and POTAG’s strike.
‘I don’t think it’s because of Ebola’ he insisted adding that ‘most of the foreign students are already on our various campuses. Last week, I was at the University of Cape Coast and I met several of them there because there did not hear of the directive early so they came from their countries.’
He also alleged that the University of Ghana’s international hostel is currently occupied by international students ‘and so who are we waiting for? What are we preventing?’
Akilu admonished the government to clarify its intention to postpone academic activities so that ‘they can draw sympathy from well-meaning Ghanaians, but for you to use Ebola, it means that you are only postponing the issue and not tackling it.’
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