Monday, 24 January

Education in public universities in crisis – Apaak

Dr Clement Apaak

The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak, has described as “unfortunate”, the stalled conditions of service negotiations between the University Teachers' Association (UTAG) and the government, as well as the withdrawal of teaching and related services by university lecturers.

UTAG embarked on an indefinite strike on Monday, 10 January 2022, in response to “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.”

Although Dr Apaak said the strike is unfortunate, he noted that the lecturers cannot be blamed and that the government must be held accountable for failing to fulfil its obligations to them.

According to the lawmaker, there is a plethora of issues affecting teaching and learning in public universities, which include overburdened lecturers due to large student numbers, poor conditions of service of lecturers leading to the limited focus on the quality of teaching and limited research support and funding, which in turn leads to limited research output.

The others he identified are lack of infrastructure, lecture halls, residential facilities, and office space among others, as well as the non-provision of teaching aids such as laptops coupled with horrible Internet service and poor IT infrastructure amid other costs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, he expressed reservations about the quality of students entering the universities because, in his view, some are poor at English.

Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has described UTAG’s strike as illegal at its meeting on Thursday, 13 January 2022 but the lecturers have refused to go back to the lecture halls.



Source: Mensah