University students appeal to lecturers to end strike

The leadership of university students, has appealed to the striking University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), to reconsider their position and return to the lecture theatres.

The University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) and the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG), in a joint statement presented at a press conference in Accra on Thursday said the strike is taking a toll on students.

“Please in all humility return to the lecture theatre while the matter is being resolved,” the statement said.

It said: “We know that you are not enjoying the strike because you love your job as teachers and even some amongst you have sons and daughters as students in the university.”

The statement acknowledged the legitimate concerns of UTAG, but asked members to adopt a gradual, systematic and very procedural approach to seek a lasting solution to their concerns.

It also appealed to the government to urgently address the grievances of UTAG because the strike could potentially result into a national crisis.

“Today, thousands of university students are idle because academic activities have been halted. Final year project students cannot have access to their supervisors because of the UTAG strike,” it said.

The leadership of USAG and GRASAG said “we do not intend to take sides but we think that in all matters of national interest, the law must be seen to be working, by this we are requesting all parties to respect the laws of this country to give meaning to the rule of law”.

The statement said at this point in time, there is no need for attacks and counter attacks regarding the legality or otherwise of the strike as being suggested by the National Labour Commission and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on one hand and UTAG on the other side.

It said the approach would only result in massaging the ego of UTAG members, making the students to court disaster.

“In any case, UTAG’s action is necessitated by a legitimate entitlement which has not been paid,” it said.

The statement expressed the students’ appreciation and recognition of the significant role played by major stakeholders in introducing progressive free quality education in the country.

It however, urged such major stakeholders to ensure that their actions and decisions are in the supreme interest of the State to produce highly skilled professionals to help advance the cause of the country.

Members of UTAG earlier this week embarked on an industrial strike demanding what they called salary arrears.

However, the association have failed to attend at least two meetings called by the government to resolve the issue, saying they were not properly or formally invited.

Source: GNA

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