Academic work resumes on campuses
Academic activities in public universities in the country resumed yesterday following the suspension of a strike by members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
This came to light when the Daily Graphic team visited the University of Ghana, the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
The leadership of UTAG last Friday asked members to return to the classroom immediately, pending the final outcome of its deliberations with the government over its grievances.
The industrial action started on August 2, 2021.
Some students on the GIJ campus. Picture: Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
At the University of Ghana, the usually bustling campus was quiet, with few students seen heading in various directions, possibly to engage in private studies.
Some of the students said their examinations were due this week and so they were preparing for them.
Two students, Stephen Tetteh and Anita Andoh, who were seen heading towards the Balme Library, said per the timetable, they would start their examination tomorrow.
The vice-president of the University of Ghana branch of UTAG, Dr Samuel Kojo Kwofie, said: “We have restored our services 100 per cent.”
He, however, said the organisation of the end-of-semester examination was being done by the management of the university, and that members of the association had nothing to do with it.
On the UPSA campus, there was virtually no academic activity, as the students had already written their end-of-semester examination.
According to Mercy Asamoah and Joyce Asante, they finished their examination before the UTAG strike came into full force.
The president of the UPSA branch of UTAG, Dr Ampem Darko Aniapam, said members did not mark examination scripts during the strike.
“I just sent a message to our members that they should start marking the scripts by 9 a.m. today. I have seen some of them coming to pick the scripts. Before the strike even started, a large chunk of the students had finished with their examination,” he added.
A couple of lectures were going on when the Daily Graphic team got to the GIJ campus.
A student, Ms Esther Nettey, said as of 12 noon yesterday, she had attended two lectures and expressed joy that academic activities had resumed fully.
The vice-president of the GIJ branch of UTAG, Dr Kodwo Jonas Anson Boateng, confirmed that lecturers were back to the lecture halls.
From Tamale, Samuel Duodu reports that academic work resumed on the Tamale, Nyankpala and the City campuses of the University for Development Studies (UDS) yesterday.
The UTAG chairman of the UDS, Dr Felix Longi, confirmed the suspension of the strike by members.
Some of the students expressed satisfaction at the turn of events and said they needed their lecturers to supervise their project work, mark their examination scripts and release their results to enable them to graduate on schedule.
Members of UTAG started a sit-down strike on August 2, this year to demand a restoration of their 2021 salary levels and improvement in their conditions of service.
The Senior Staff Association of the Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) had earlier gone on strike to press home similar demands but called off the action after the first week.
The NLC subsequently directed the associations to call off their actions, but UTAG refused, compelling the commission to proceed to the High Court to seek an injunction to stop the university teachers from continuing their industrial action.
Not satisfied with the decision of the commission, the association filed a motion at the same court to challenge the order to call off the strike.
When the case was called last Thursday, the Labour Division of the Accra High Court struck out the suit filed by the NLC after the commission decided to stop pursuing the case.
The decision paved the way for UTAG and the government to return to the negotiation table to resolve the dispute per a road map outlined in an MoU, leading to the suspension of the strike.