Mr. Sam Nasamu Asabigi, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister has assured polytechnic students of the governments’ commitment to finding a lasting solution to the demands of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG).
He said, the government was committed to addressing the concerns of the POTAG as well as those of University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and would not give preferential treatment to any of the groups.
Mr. Asabigi was addressing a group of students from the Tamale Polytechnic who joined their counterparts throughout the country on Tuesday in a demonstration to solidarise with their lecturers, members of POTAC who are striking for better conditions of service.
The students later presented a petition to the Deputy Minister to be forwarded to President John Evans Mills.
The students numbering over 400 carried placards some of which read: “We can’t wait, we want our teachers back in the classroom”, “Is this Better Ghana Agenda?” “Poly has been relegated..” and “2012 is coming”.
Mr. Briamah Damba, President of the Student Representative Council of the Tamale Polytechnic, who presented the petition, said although students had paid their fees, lectures had halted as their studies and the academic calendar because their teachers are on strike.
He called on government to fast track negotiations with leaders of POTAG to enable them return to the classroom.
“For the past year, Polytechnic education has not had the needed attention in the country and look at what has happened with regards to POTAG strike and UTAG”, he said.
“That is not to say we don’t have concerns or we don’t care about what happens within the other fraternities, but we believe we should be given equal attention as others have been given”, he added.
Polytechnic teachers began a nation-wide strike on August 1, to back their demand for better salaries and conditions of service. They are seeking, among other things, the same level of salaries and other conditions of service as their counterparts in the universities.