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General News Thu, 20 Jan 2022

UTAG strike: 'Incompetent' Adutwum must resign - Coalition demands

A Group calling itself the Coalition of Concerned University students have asked the Minister for Education to lay down his tools over striking University Teachers.

According to the Group, Education at the Tertiary level has been hit hardly by the incessant strike actions and government has been insensitive to the plight of the Ghanian student with its approach to the ongoing University Teachers Association (UTAG) strike across the country.

“Fellow University students, the time is NOW or NEVER!!!! Our lecturers have laid down their tools and apparatus and embarked on an indefinite strike. UTAG, on Monday, 10th January, 2022 officially embarked on this indefinite strike and it been 10days since they laid down their tools. We have all realized how the Government of Ghana has been insensitive about this situation.”

Worrying they say is the fact that students have had to struggle with their parents to pay exorbitant fees but have had to sit in their rooms not knowing when their lecturers will get back to the classrooms.

“It’s unfair to us, university students to pay exorbitant tuition and hostel fees at this early stage of the academic calendar just to see our lecturers embark on such an indefinite industrial strike. Already, COVID-19 has been an albatross on our neck and disrupted our learning and academic procedures.”

Apart from the strike action, the group complained bitterly about the delay in funds for scholarship students and loans government promised students and therefore called on Ghanaian students home and abroad to speak up and fight for their rights.

PRESS STATEMENT – COALITION OF CONCERNED UNIVERSITY STUDENTS (CoCUS)

Good afternoon, Her Excellency Miss Stephanie Naadu Antwi (Ag.UGSRC President) Her Excellency Miss Christiana Adu ( UG- GRASAG President), All National Students, UGSRC Presidents present, Undergraduate students, Post-Graduate students, all University students, all media houses, ladies and gentlemen.

I am Kofi George Abuah ( the LEAD CONVENER of Coalition of Concerned University Students (CoCUS) . CoCUS is a student movement and activism group that keenly seeks to address issues of ordinary Ghanaian University Students both home and abroad.

We in CoCUS believe that student activism has been pivotal in Ghana’s political and democratic history. Given that Ghana’s democratization process since 1992 has not been static, some remarkable strides have been made in improving the nation’s democratic quality through student activism.

Ladies and gentlemen, the leadership of USAG and CoCUS is challenged at this time in the history of the Ghanaian student. Ordinarily, my address to students as the National Coordinating Secretary in such manner should have been one that borders on good tidings.

Unfortunately, for us, we are here to address a situation that has set the teeth of the union on edge as it has the propensity to affect the academic life of students. Until 15th June, 2020, all schools including universities in the country were closed down due to the emergence of COVID-19. The closure of schools stalled almost all academic activities in the country. During this period, students could not enjoy the best of academic life.

One would have taught however that, the reopening of schools in June 2020 was an opportunity for students especially, those in the Universities to recoup all the precious days lost. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sad to tell you that this has not been the case.

Fellow University students, the time is NOW or NEVER!!!!

Our lecturers have laid down their tools and apparatus and embarked on an indefinite strike. UTAG, on Monday, 10th January, 2022 officially embarked on this indefinite strike and it been 10days since they laid down their tools. We have all realized how the Government of Ghana has been insensitive about this situation.

There is an Akan cliché which says that “when two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers”. We want to tell government that University students are SUFFERING!!

Medical students are suffering, business administration students are suffering, nursing students are suffering, international students are suffering, computer science students are suffering, engineering students are suffering, Agricultural students are suffering, student entrepreneurs are suffering and even psychology students are SUFFERING!!!

It’s unfair to us, university students to pay exorbitant tuition and hostel fees at this early stage of the academic calendar just to see our lecturers embark on such an indefinite industrial strike. Already, COVID-19 has been an albatross on our neck and disrupted our learning and academic procedures.

Furthermore, issues of our student loans , accommodation and scholarships is hanging in the air, just for us to commence this academic year with such pain.

We want to inspire our fellow university students both home and abroad to speak up across the country.

We from the CoCUS with the sole mandate to protect and advance the interest of all university students in the country as committed wish to communicate the following in an equivocal terms:

Government must within the next few working days (4 working days) engage the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) with the aim of addressing the issues in a manner that UTAG will be satisfied.We ask the Government of Ghana to demonstrate good faith in its dealings with the unions in the negotiation process. In its statement, UTAG blamed the stalled negotiation process on bad faith consistently demonstrated by government. As a government that trumpet quality education, we believe this should be the avenue for the government to achieve what it has always been preaching.Currently, most students are preparing for their mid-semester assessments, and end of semester examination and we believe this strike will have a negative toll on them psychologically and academically. It is on the backdrop of this that we plead with Government to act right.The irresponsibility of the government and agencies of government involved is just unacceptable

We call on the government to show leadership for in any serious jurisdiction head must roll!!We call on government to demand for the resignation of the National Labour Commission boss and

The C. E. O of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission must be sacked.

Finally, there is too much chaos in the education sector and the incompetence of the education ministry in handling issues at the sector is glaring. The President should immediately fire the Minister of Education for his inability to solve what has become the Tertiary Education crisisWe the CoCUS believe, for, University students to continue their role as vanguards of quality democracy and education in Ghana, we must SPEAK UP
Source: mynewsgh.com