Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education
The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has postponed the re-opening of the university for the 2014/2015 Academic Year indefinitely.
A notice issued on August 7 and signed by the registrar, Kofi Nyan said circumstances beyond the control of authorities of the University compelled them to take the decision.
However, another notice issued the same day and signed by the president of the Students Representative Council (SRC), David Boakye explained that the decision was due to the industrial strike of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
According to the notice, UTAG’s president, Dr. Samuel Ofori-Bekoe confirmed to the authorities of the University that UTAG would not end the strike while its National Executive Committee resolved at a meeting on Wednesday, August 6 to take legal action.
‘The decision has been taken to relieve students from coming to spend time and money without lectures,’ the notice stated.
UTAG declared an indefinite strike in July this year to protest against government’s decision to scrap the allowances for book and research to lecturers in tertiary institutions.
In place of this, the government intends to establish a National Research Fund for lecturers to access for their research projects.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has threatened to drag UTAG before the National Labour Commission (NLC) for failing to follow the laid-down procedures before embarking on the strike.
But UTAG insists that they would only call off the strike when their monies are paid and are assured that the Book and Research Allowance would also not be scrapped.
In view of this, some continuing students and parents of fresh students have registered their displeasure with the strike.
Jackie Andam, a student, told the GNA that ‘Almost all first semesters have begun with a strike, hence first semesters have always been short and when the lectures resume, students were rushed through the course and they end up with bad grades.’
Janet Quartey, a parent, said her two sons who have gained admission to UCC have become stranded, as their dream of entering the university to further their education was being ‘toyed’ with.
Mercy Forson, a Level 400 student, appealed to government and UTAG to resolve the issue amicably without sacrificing the future of the students, saying, ‘We do not want to experience what is happening to our friends in the polytechnics.’
Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) has been on strike since May 15 demanding the payment of the same Books and Research Allowances, which are in arrears.
In view of this, final-year polytechnic students of the 2013/14 academic year have, therefore, been directed by the Education Ministry to undertake their National Service in 2014 when postings are out.
Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who gave the directive, said the students who have not completed their polytechnic education, would be posted to regions where their schools are located so that they could combine their final academic work with the National Service.
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