An education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has asked government to shut down all public universities across the country until the university teachers call off their strike.
The education think tank in a statement argued that, in view of the increasing social and economic cost of staying on campus with no academic activity, the absence of academic direction for freshers on campus, and the lack of an imminent negotiated settlement of the impasse, it will be in the best interest of students; freshers especially, and their families for the schools to be closed down.
“The strike was declared on January 10, 2022. Majority of students on campus are freshmen who have not even been matriculated. These freshmen have had no academic direction since they arrived in the universities to meet a university community without academic activity or supervision by their lecturers and counselors due to the strike. Their continuous stay on campus without academic activity has economic and social consequences on them and their families back home, as they continue to incur expenditure they otherwise wouldn’t have incurred if they were home.”
“On the labour front, five weeks of industrial action is yet to achieve any significant progress in negotiating a settlement to the impasse, ”it added.
Eduwatch thus called on Vice-Chancellors to close down all public universities until the UTAG strike is called off.
It has been 22 working days since members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) embarked on the industrial action.
The strike by UTAG is to demand better conditions of service, which university teachers have been pursuing for years now.
The regulations guiding public universities indicate that where there are no teaching activities for 31 days after academic activities are to resume, the school must be closed down.
On Tuesday, a meeting between the Ministry of Education and UTAG and other stakeholders ended inconclusively and will continue on Thursday.
The meeting became necessary after the High Court ordered the National Labour Commission and UTAG to resort to an out of court settlement following a suit filed by the NLC.