The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Basic School has been closed down as a result of the ongoing strike by the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana, Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and the Ghana Association of University Administrators, (GAUA).
Citi News’ checks show that the strike is hindering about 3,350 basic school students from accessing their educational needs at KNUST.
University Relations Officer of KNUST, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, lamented the detrimental impact of the strike by the three (3) labour unions on the university’s workflow.
He thus emphasized the need for urgent engagement among relevant stakeholders to address the grievances outlined by the unions and find mutually beneficial solutions to avert subsequent effects. Dr Norris Bekoe indicated that “the strike is seriously affecting the smooth running of the university in many ways. Senior Staff Association declared a strike three weeks ago and the University had to rely on contract staff and national service personnel. However, with the declaration of a strike by TEWU-TUC and the Ghana Association of University Administrators, it makes it almost impossible to keep the basic school running, which is why the registrar had to call for its closure.”
He added, “The university is half empty because the university Administrators are not around, the Senior Staff are also not here, TEWU, those who are supposed to ensure the environment is set up for smooth teaching are not also here. And the University is a system, each arm relies on the other hand to function. I appeal to relevant stakeholders to quickly come to the negotiation table and help find solutions to the various issues raised by the unions. ”
The Women’s Commissioner of the KNUST chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana, who is also a teacher at the KNUST Basic school, Josephine Philicity Apenyo Adom, although admitted the negative impact of the strike on students, indicated that they would continue to strike until their demands are met.
She added, “We have been asked by the National Labour Commission to suspend the strike while negotiations go on but because of our previous experiences, we would only call it off or suspend it if, after our executive meeting with the National Labour Commission on February 1, something reasonable comes out, if not, we will continue to strike. ”
The Head of the Department for History and Political Studies at KNUST, Professor Edward Brenya, in an interview with Citi News, highlighted the effects and burden the strike has brought on heads of department and appealed to relevant authorities to intervene.
“With the absence of the administrator, it means that in addition to my workload as a lecturer in the classroom, I have to also handle administrative duties and this makes the work very difficult”, he bemoaned.
The management of KNUST expressed fear the academic calendar would be in jeopardy if the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) joined the strike.