KNUST UTAG declares indefinite strike

The KNUST branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has declared an indefinite strike, can confirm. The university teachers are embarking on the strike to protest the dissolution of the Governing Council by government on Thursday. A statement by the Ministry of Education announced a seven-member Interim Committee to ensure the resumption of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) within 14 days.

But after a two-hour crunch meeting on Friday, the KNUST branch of UTAG said members feel sidelined by all moves so far by government. UTAG President at KNUST Professor Eric Fokuo told journalists after the meeting on Friday that the fact-finding mission of government led by Minister of Education Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh “totally ignored” them despite their position as major stakeholders of the university. “They didn’t even bother. They totally ignored us,” he said. Prof Fokuo said by their neglect in the composition of the interim committee, “we will also totally ignore them”. He wondered how students can be included on the committee when they are the same people complaining and having perpetrated the “mess” on campus. Vice Chancellor’s position? The interim committee has as its chairman the Paramount Chief of Bompata Traditional Area, Nana Effah Apenteng. The members are Prof Mrs Rita Akosua Dickson, Dr Edward Baffoe-Bonnie, Madam Hilda Haggar Ampadu, Prof. Joshua Agyarkwa, Mrs Abena Antwi and Mr Kelvin Sah, the President of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). The leader of the teachers at KNUST said given the exclusion of Vice Chancellor Prof Kwasi Obiri Danso from the committee, they do not know whether he has been sacked or asked to step aside. “We have been trying to ask [and] call but they don’t seem to understand that also. So, now the position of the Vice Chancellor, we don’t know.” As a member of the dissolved Governing Council, Prof Fokuo dared the students to come out with details of any attempt to petition the Council over their concerns or any general concerns that have been unattended to by the Council. “They have never sent any petition to the Council. Probably, they might have dealt with the management.” He imputed “an attack” and “infiltration” to government’s decision on Thursday. He said they will wait for government’s response on their industrial action but until then, they won’t recognise the seven-member interim committee. Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee of UTAG is also said to be meeting to consider whether to join their colleagues at KNUST or not.
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Source:|Ghana        ]]>