The Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS) has urged the Government to as a matter of urgency address the concerns of Technical University Teachers Association of Ghana (TUTAG).
A statement signed jointly by Sandra Agoli Iddrisu and Addae Michael Nyametease, GNUTS Coordinating Secretary and Public Relations Officer respectively and copied to the Ghana News Agency urged the Government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) to as a matter of urgency, expedite action on migrating Technical University lecturers onto the pay structure and the conditions of services enjoyed by their counterparts in traditional public universities in the country.
“It would be recalled that Polytechnics in Ghana were converted to Technical Universities in September, 2016 by the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama’s administration following the Technical University Act, 2016(Act 922) to enhance Technical education in Ghana,” it said.
“But it is interesting to note that since the conversion of these Polytechnics to Technical Universities, the system is faced with numerous challenges ranging from inadequate infrastructure, poor existing lecture halls and theatres, lack of motivation to Technical Universities lecturers and others.”
It said the GNUTS on several occasions, made a passionate appeal to address these challenges by the authorities but the situation keeps worsening.
It noted that technical universities just like any other public traditional university ought to be considered as first class tertiary institutions to execute their mandate of training the middle level man power needs of this country by equipping these institutions with the necessary logistics and incentives to motivate lecturers.
It said the Technical University Lecturers for the past two years had followed the necessary diplomatic steps to compel the government to migrate them onto the pay structure and condition of service enjoyed by their colleagues in other public traditional universities.
“It is obvious government is deliberately not enhancing the concerns of these hard working lecturers who are at par with their counterparts in other public traditional universities,” the statement said.
It said the payment of book and research allowances to Technical University Lectures was always difficult task for government.
“How do we expect quality tuition when our lecturers lack what it takes to execute their mandate effectively?” it quizzed.
“There is this popular adage that ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’.”
It recounted that the Technical University lecturers on 12th September, 2018 declared a nationwide sit-down strike for government’s failure to address their concerns.
“It’s we the students who are suffering the consequences of this unfortunate situation triggered by the government,” it stated.
“We demand government to make it clear to us whether Technical Universities are not public universities.”
It said lecturers of institutions of higher learning when unusually upgraded to university status, usually enjoy condition of services just like any other public university lecturers.
“Why the discrimination on the part of polytechnics converted to public Technical universities?” it asked.
It noted that the GNUTS by this statement calls on government to address these concerns of the Technical University lecturers to get them back to class room as soon as practicable to enhance their academic work.
It said the Union also entreats the National Labour Commission (NLC) to give fair hearing to Technical University Lecturers and work assiduously to address their concerns with urgency.
The statement said the Union further wants to use this medium to remind government to facilitate the formation and inauguration of the governing councils of Cape Coast and Tamale Technical Universities, as these institutions were facing a lot of challenges with policy initiation and decisions that demand the approval of councils.
It said the Union would not hesitate to take other steps including a nationwide demonstration to compel government to correct these anomalies and the discrimination on the part of technical university lecturers.