General News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Lecturers at the Accra Technical University have declared a strike over what they say are poor conditions at the school, which they claim negatively affects teaching and learning.
According to them, despite repeated requests to the management of the school for the issues that persist at the University to be addressed, not much has been done.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, the Organizer of the Accra Technical University branch of the Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana, Hanson Obiri-Yeboah, said the teachers had decided to down tools in order to force the management to address their concerns.
“The working conditions as at now at the Accra Technical University are very deplorable and not in a good state. Lecturing and scheduling has become very difficult for both lecturers and students,” he said.
“That’s why we’ve abandoned the class and are seeking that management will address the situation as soon as possible so that the learning environment will be healthy, safe and very conducive for teaching and learning.”
According to Mr. Obiri-Yeboah, the students and lecturers lacked the basic materials they needed to facilitate academic activities at the school.
He added that the state of the equipment that were available posed serious threats to the safety of the entire population of the school that use these facilities.
“There are certain equipment and environment that you need to lecture. As a lecturer, I’m supposed to use a projector for students to be able to see what I’m teaching. But the sockets aren’t working, there are open wiring systems, nothing is working. Even the tables and chairs are not enough. Students are standing outside, while students are sitting on tables and sharing on chair which isn’t advisable and is causing health concerns to both lecturers and students,” he lamented.
“Three days ago, it rained heavily and the roof leaks badly and with the exposed wires, it could be dangerous for the students and any disaster can happen.
That state of the classrooms is very bad. In the Science Laboratory, the equipment to teach the students practicals aren’t there. Those which are available are in bad shape. Printers and toners aren’t available, making teaching and learning difficult.
The number of students is large, but there are no public address systems to lecture. You have to shout when teaching. The washrooms are in a very bad state, you can’t survive the scent.”
He bemoaned the failure of management to deal with the issues that have been raised despite the numerous complaints brought to them by the lecturers.
“All our problems are because of management, they aren’t supervising, directing or buying the things that are needed. We’ve been having both formal and informal meetings with management and we notified them that if they don’t do this before the 18th [of September], we would act. We are now in October but still work hasn’t been done.”
Mr. Obiri-Yeboah was however coy when asked whether they had notified the National Labour Commission (NLC) of their strike, insisting that their action was legal.
“We’ve not got there yet, the situation is that we can’t go to the classroom, we can’t go to the classrooms. We have nothing to work with. It’s very legitimate, it’s lawful. We are not above the law.”