Some students of the colleges of education have called on the government and Members of the Colleges of Education Teachers Association of Ghana (CETAG) to ensure a speedy resolution of the ongoing impasse to ensure that they proceed with academic work on campus.
Their pleas come in the wake of the ongoing strike on all 46 campuses of the Colleges of Education, halting academic activities over “unfavorable working conditions” faced by members of the CETAG.
GhanaWeb observed during its visit to the Mount Mary College of Education (MOMACO) in Somanya in the Eastern Region that some students were still reporting for school with teachers actively involved in the admission process.
The teachers are also scheduled to take the newly admitted students through intensive orientation to get them accustomed and adjusted to as well as familiarize themselves with their new environment.
Some school executives of the College speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb feared that their academic calendar would be adversely affected by the industrial action.
The SRC president, Loumon Agbessi, a level-400 student said the situation had discouraged the total turn-up of the students as some 20% of the total student population were yet to report to school forty-eight hours after school officially reopened on Saturday.
“This has given the opportunity to some people thinking things won’t go well on campus so as students used to report in their numbers, this time around it is not the same but we have about 80% of the student body back,” said the SRC president.
Recounting how a similar strike by their teachers during his first year adversely affected academic work, he appealed thus, “This time around, I’ll humbly say that there should be a consensus between the CETAG and the government so that our teachers can come and engage us if not we’ll be lagging behind and pressure would be mounting on us.”
Asked how the students were going to manage their stay on campus in the absence of teaching activities, Simon Nartey, Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the students said the students would be encouraged to access the college library to undertake personal academic activities.
He said, “The libraries would be opened for those who would want to go do some research or probably have their leisure time reading some books,” noted the PRO.
He was also hopeful that all concerned stakeholders take proactive steps to ensure that the strike action is called off as soon as possible.
He posited: “It is our future we’re talking about here and the future of the Ghanaian communities so if there is something that can be done with immediate effect, we’re appealing to the government and all other stakeholders to put the measures in place to ensure that our teachers are back to work.”
Ethel Adjika, Deputy General-Secretary of the SRC while recalling a similar strike she experienced as a first-year student of the College of Education said the student executive body has lined up a number of activities to keep the students occupied during the period.
SRC Women Commissioner of the College, Miss Helena Aidoo also urged the female students on campus and other campuses to keep calm as government resolves the issue.
She said, “I’ll say that the strike is not helping but I’ll entreat all women in other colleges as well as in MOMACO to keep calm and hope that government would do something about this whole strike and teachers would come back so that we can have a successful education and academic activities would be very smooth.”
Acting College Secretary of the college, Rev. Father Alloysius Ekow Mensah while urging the students to embrace their orientation process assured them of the support of the entire staff and management body of the institution.
“They should be rest assured that the teachers and the staff members are around for their interest to form them to become good teachers for the nation for them to also form the children and also prepare them for the future,” he said.