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There’ll be dire consequences if UTAG’s strike persists – KNUST

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, has said there would be dire consequences for the school’s academic calendar if the ongoing strike by university lecturers continues further.

According to the University’s Relations Officer, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, the strike by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), was unexpected and presents a major challenge for a smooth flow of the academic calendar.

“The whole year has been a very difficult one because of COVID-19 and its impact, and so we were hoping to end the second semester peacefully, unfortunately, the UTAG strike will not allow us to do so. It has been very difficult, and again the Senior Staff Association is also on strike, so virtually all the works have come to a standstill,” he said.

Dr. Bekoe said the school has had to make do with some national service persons who are holding the fort in various departments.

He however said that is not sustainable, and that soon there would be a severe impact should the strike persist.

“We are having to rely on NSS persons who are about ending their service until everything returns to normalcy. It has been very challenging. We are hoping that this strike by UTAG does not drag for too long because that will seriously affect the academic semester,” he added.

UTAG members are on strike since the beginning of the month because they want the government to restore the conditions of service agreed upon with the government in 2012 which they said was far better than the current situation.

The Senior Staff Association of Universities of Ghana is also on strike, because of the government’s failure to address concerns raised about its members’ conditions of service.

The strike by the two bodies has severely affected academic and some non-academic work at the various tertiary campuses.

KNUST and the University of Ghana have already announced a temporary suspension of examination due to the situation, with no end in sight for the strike.

Dr. Bekoe said students have been advised to continue studying privately to prepare for the exams, which will come off at a yet-to-be-announced date.

He noted that the school cannot afford to allow students to immediately go home.

“If the students are to go back home and come back, nobody knows what they are coming with. We would have to screen them all over again and for those who are positive [ for COVID-19], we have to feed them again. All these are things are very complicated,” he said.

He added that the school management is hoping that UTAG returns to work soon to prevent things from going from bad to worse.

“We are praying that UTAG will rescind their decision or get a positive decision from the government so that they can come back quickly for us to have a new schedule for the exams,” he said.

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