UTAG strike: Shutting down universities after 21 days not backed by law, but an economic decision – Prof. Awandare; Prof. Gordon Awandare, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Students’ Affairs at the University of Ghana (Pro VC ASA), says the law requires universities in Ghana to close down after 21 days of no academic work.
According to him, such a decision is economically motivated because the institution’s costs are carefully considered for the university’s successful operation.
He explained that providing students with social amenities such as electricity and water while academic work is suspended will have costly consequences for the university in the long term.
The clarification comes at a time when many are worried that tertiary institutions will be shut down as the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has been on strike for more than three weeks over its conditions of service.
On January 10, university lecturers withdrew their services and have heeded no directive to return to post.
The National Labour Commission has dragged UTAG to court but the Association has not budged.
According to reports, students are returning home from several universities.
Meanwhile, Professor Awandare claims that the University of Ghana’s management has not contemplated closing the school while the strike continues.
According to him, the university’s administration is optimistic about a resolution.
If university teachers do not call off their strike this week, the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) has threatened to stage a series of protests.
Dr. Phillip Armah, President of USAG, said the apparent lack of communication from university officials and the government over the strike is concerning, as the situation has forced many students to return home.