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Parties in UEW impasse must listen, act

BY: Daily Graphic
Parties in UEW impasse must listen, act
Parties in UEW impasse must listen, act

Universities have been assigned the most important and unique role of producing highly skilled manpower and research output to meet expected targets.

In view of this, they provide professional training, knowledge and skills that are essential for meeting the challenges of societal development.

It is an accepted fact that university education inculcates in the individual responsible behaviour that is necessary for social transformation and growth.

Universities are thus regarded as key institutions in processes of social change and development. From the building of new establishments, developing new cultural values and socialising people, they are key actors in ensuring success and accomplishments.

The impact of university education on economic, political and socio-cultural transformation in society can, therefore, not be overemphasised.

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For example, universities in the UK in 2016-2017 thereabout added nearly £100 billion to the UK economy and created additional jobs of about one million.

For these and many other reasons, countries attach great importance to their university education.

Governments of Ghana over the years have ensured high-level manpower and infrastructure that have the capacity to catapult the country to sustainable development.

Anything that has the tendency to thwart efforts of the universities in meeting their mandate must, therefore, be avoided.

The recent happenings on the campuses of the University of Education Winneba (UEW) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have caused enormous damage to property and loss of time.

The Daily Graphic is not happy that there seems to be simmering disaffection at UEW that has the potential to erode most of the gains made by the university.

There is still uneasy calm, although the school has reopened for academic work to resume.

Some workers who remain dismissed have vowed to ensure that they use all means legally available to have them reinstated, while even those who have been reinstated have said their reinstatement is not enough until all others are recalled to work.

The situation at UEW is not at all comfortable and that is why the Daily Graphic adds its voice to the call by the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, to parties in the UEW impasse to lend their fullest cooperation and support to build peace and reconciliation.

As it is now, quizzes and mid-semester exam that should have been written weeks ago are on hold. While many wonder when these papers would be written, the university has already eaten into the period for end-of-semester exam

. Interestingly, the timetable for the end-of-semester exam has been released, leaving students to wonder when the rest of the mid-semester exam would be taken.

If these will not affect the university in terms of image and academic work, then we do not know what will.

We want to remind the UEW and other Ghanaian universities, for that matter, that universities face many challenges, including increased global competition and the uncertainties in funding.

Universities elsewhere generate huge revenues from their international students and visitors, which go to shore up their finances and the finances of the entire country.

Our universities can do same, but they cannot do this if they cannot be predicted in terms of uninterrupted programmes. In this case, they will lose out in attracting these categories of learners.

Our universities must learn to handle their grievances before they escalate into strikes and shutdowns. The advice by the minister to the UEW is apt and the parties must listen and act on it for the good of all.