Deputy ranking member of Parliament’s Education Committee, Dr Clement Apaak following the ongoing strike action by the Teacher Unions has called on the Ghana Education Service to close public basic schools across the country.
The Builsa South Member of Parliament call comes after the management of the Education Service on July 4, 2022, directed Heads of primary schools not to shut their facility despite the industrial action declared by the Unions.
In an interview with journalists monitored by AcademicWeek, Mr Clement Apaak said it would be difficult for teachers to supervise and control students, particularly on day 2 of the strike action over the Cost of living allowance (COLA).
In line with the Education Committee member, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has also urged the Ghana Education Service to immediately engage the leadership of the Teacher Unions to address their concerns.
“We are minded of the Akan adage that “when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers” hence our students will be victims should the simmering tension between government and the Labour Unions persists,” NUGS said in a release.
Citing the disruption of the 2022 academic year calendar should the strike continue, the Students Union has called on the central government to expeditiously engage with the Teacher Unions as part of efforts in addressing the concerns.
“We will also like to call on our dear teachers not to have a non-negotiable position on this matter given the adverse effect of protracted strike action on academic life,” the statement signed by the President of Ghana Students noted.
Four Teacher Unions (GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and CCT-GH) on Monday, July 4, 2022, embarked on a nationwide strike action to register their displeasure over a 20% Cost of living allowance (COLA) the government has refused to agree.
In a joint release copied to AcademicWeek, the Unions said they on several occasions have engaged the government on the COLA to teachers and educational workers of pre-tertiary education level but all their efforts prove futile.
“Unfortunately, these calls have fallen on deaf ears, we wish to use this forum to express our displeasure over this insensitivity of the government regarding our demand,” the Teacher Unions stated in a statement issued on July 4.
Citing an increase in fuel prices, goods and other services, the leadership of the education sector Unions said their decision to embark on the nationwide industrial action is influenced by the high cost of living in the country.
“Inflation in the country is currently 27.6% and continues to escalate and Infinitum; only God knows when this will abate. We are much appalled at the inept attitude of the government relative to call for COLA,” the Unions noted.
They also indicated members of the recognized Teacher Unions (GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and CCT-GH) can no longer bear the hardship. Even more so, they reject the inequality of salaries in the public service of this country.