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Politics of Friday, 14 January 2022

Source: starrfm.com.gh

UTAG has legitimate concerns; fix it – Apaak tells government

Apaak criticises government for not meeting teachers' demands Apaak criticises government for not meeting teachers' demands

The Deputy Ranking Member on Education in Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak, has criticized government for failing to meet the demands of lecturers of public universities in the country.

UTAG has embarked on a nationwide strike from Monday, January 10 2022 until further notice.

In a statement dated January 8, 2022, the Association cataloged a number of reasons that informed their decision to lay down their tools.

According to the Association, its members reject the amount agreed to be paid as annual research allowance and wants the government to reconsider the payment of a more realistic research allowance.

They also disclosed the worsening Conditions of Service (CoS) of the University Teacher and the failure of the Employer in addressing the plight of UTAG members within the agreed timelines among others.

In a Facebook post, Dr. Clement Apaak indicated that the lecturers are confronted with numerous issues that bother on teaching and learning in public Universities that need the government’s urgent attention.

“The stalled conditions of service negotiations between University Teachers’ Association (UTAG) and Government, and the withdrawal of teaching and related services by University Lecturers is unfortunate.

“However, the Lecturers cannot be blamed, Government must be held to account for failing to fulfill its obligations to the Lecturers,” he disclosed.

The Builsa South Member of Parliament also mentioned a number of challenges the lecturers are faced with which include being overburdened due to large student numbers.

“Poor condition of service of lecturers, leading to limited focus on the quality of teaching; Limited research support and funding, leading to limited research output.

“Lack of adequate infrastructure; lecture halls, residential facilities, office space, etc; Non provision of teaching aids such as laptops and horrible Internet and IT infrastructure and costs, in face of COVID-19,” he reiterated.

The Ranking Member on Education added that the quality of students entering the universities is challenging as some have poor English and writing ability.

Meanwhile, a meeting between the National Labour Commission (NLC) and UTAG held on Thursday, January 13, 2022, to resolve issues bothering on strike action has been inconclusive.

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