The decision by members of the Technical University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (TUTAG) to immediately suspend their strike demanding improved conditions of service must come as good news to the leaders of the Akufo-Addo Administration (See “TUTAG Suspends Strike: Showers Praises on Dr Adutwum” 3News.com / Ghanaweb.com 6/19/21). Of special significance and credit, according to the leadership of TUTAG, is Education Minister Yaw Osei Adutwum whose sincerity and conciliatory overtures and promises were commended and especially prized for genuineness and authenticity. What this obviously means is that the TUTAG leaders have been studiously following the fulgent on-the-job performance of the Bosomtwe New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament, first, as Deputy Education Minister and, presently, as the substantive Education Minister with remarkable admiration.
Which, in effect, means that the cabinet appointees of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo are doing something professionally meaningful and healthy towards the critical and massive development of the teaching profession, on the one hand, and in particular the technical education profession that has not been seen or palpably experienced in at least a decade now. Which, of course, means that when it comes to taking care of the needs and aspirations of our teachers and, in effect, our youths, the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is absolutely without compare or rivalry in the country. In essence, the decision by the TUTAG members and their executives to call off their strike is strikingly akin to the sort of faith-based fervor that is most commonly associated with Christocentric religious worship and wholly unprecedented in the realm of secular culture. This ought to afford the government the kind of well-needed boost to enable Jubilee House to establish an indispensable rapport with the key operatives of the teaching profession in the country, who are also inescapably the linchpin of our intellectual and cultural development as a people and a nation.
Which also means that the tenure of President Akufo-Addo is apt to go down in history as the Golden Age of Ghana’s public education system at all levels. Which is also to say that, finally, the long-anticipated substantive improvement in the living conditions and standards of the Ghanaian people may very well be underway in full-blast or full-swing. But, of course, equally significant ought to be taken into account the fact that the ravages of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic still lingers and continues to take considerable toll on the overall climate and pulse of our socioeconomic development as a nation.
The preceding notwithstanding, what needs to be specially highlighted here is the imperative need for our leaders to establish good and effective communication links with the very people whom they have been both elected and appointed to serve. This is clearly and unmistakably the message that the TUTAG leaders released to the media and thus the Ghanaian citizenry at large as the primary reason for their decision to call off their industrial action which, we are reliably informed, had been unreservedly endorsed by the National Labor Commission (NLC) as being perfectly legitimate and legal. But it also bears to quickly add that the NLC gave both parties 60 days, or a two-month window of opportunity, within which to amicably resolve their grievances.
Which also means that the executive leadership of the NLC believes that the government is capable of timeously and constructively resolving this impasse which verges on the imperative need to make the technical education field and discipline one that is on par with its allied professions. In other words, the amicable and successful resolution of the TUTAG and the Ministry of Education headache stands to benefit not only the tertiary technical academy alone but, indeed, the entire teaching profession in the country as well. This is the kind of forward-looking interface that Ghanaians expect to exist between government officials and the leadership of all the other professions. Once again, kudos to Education Minister Yaw Osei Adutwum!
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 20, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]