The Acting Principal of Ghana Labour College, Mr Isaac K. Yanney, on Friday expressed unhappiness over declining enrolment of students into the College, attributing it to unwillingness of employers to release interested employees for the programme.
He said some workers have re-echoed to the authorities of the college, the possibility of running evening programmes for them because their employers refuse to give them permission to take part in the regular session.
Mr Yanney was speaking during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Certificate in Labour Studies (CLS) programme of the college in Accra.
The CLS programme is a collaboration between Trade Union Congress (TUC) and University of Cape Coast aim at helping union activists to build their capacity and understanding of global issues relating to labour and economics to be able to adapt to the dynamics in the world of work.
He said the CLS programme offered admission to 24 students this year, made up of 14 males and 10 females. However only 14 of them reported for the programme comprising eight males and six females.
Mr Yanney also attributed the declining number of students admitted into the college to SASK, Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland, discontinuation of its support that started 2001.
He recalled that SASK has assisted the college with computers, payment of salaries to lecturers and feeding grant to students.
“We used to feed the students twice a day, but now they have to feed themselves in addition to paying their own school fees.”
Mr Joshua Ansah, acting Secretary General of TUC, acknowledged that the college is facing enormous challenges that need to be addressed.
“People have the notion that the CLS is solely designed for trade unions but this is never true.
“If one takes a critical look at the course content one would realise that the programme is designed to encourage, complement and sustain industrial relations’ climate at workplaces, the communities and the nation as a whole,” he said.
Mr Ansah said the college faces huge infrastructural problems that need massive facelift.
The college also lacks good reference books, inadequate computers and a vehicle to assist students in their field trips.
He said these problems have contributed to the sharp decline in the number students enrolled for this academic year.
Mrs Martha Akorsah, assistant course prefect, who read the students' reports for the CLS 2012 programme, highlighted inadequate infrastructure, poor lightening system, inadequate computers as some of the key challenges confronting the college.
She said in spite of these challenges the programme has given students better insight on issues such as occupational safety, health and environment, the roles of organised labour, employer and the state in ensuring peaceful industrial relations towards productivity and national development.