21.09.2004 General News

Polytechnics call off 14-week strike action

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Accra, Sept. 21, GNA - Polytechnic students on Tuesday resolved to resume lectures after a 14-week strike action following an agreement with the Public Services Commission (PSC) to promulgate the Senior Officer Status of the Higher National Diploma (HND) graduate. The Ghana Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) has therefore called on all students to go back to their various institutions on September 24 to resume lectures on September 27.

Speaking at a meeting with the Minister of Education Youth and Sports, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, to announce their decision, Mr Frank Kwansah, National President, GNUPS, expressed gratitude to the Ministry, students and all stakeholders who helped to resolve the impasse. He appealed to the affected bodies to treat the PSC's promulgation with the needed urgency to give the necessary recognition to polytechnic education.

Mr Kwansah said the Union believed that resolving the concerns of job placement opened the chapter to equally identifying the roadmap within which parameters academic progression was to be addressed. He said the Union was in the process of proposing a draft document on the subject to the Ministry for attention.

Mr Baah-Wiredu thanked the Union and students for their co-operation during the impasse and urged students to make polytechnic education a unique one within the educational sector, giving the institution a "good name" to attract higher premium on its products. "You must opt for polytechnic education by choice and not by default and do not compare your institutions to others," he advised. He said though the strike action yielded better results for better job placement for polytechnic students, the price to be paid for the 110 days lost to the nation was something for all to consider for future reference.

The Minister said it was better for parties to negotiate all cases during such situations instead of resorting to strike actions that could disrupt their academic calendar.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said government was interested in polytechnic education and would do everything possible to ensure better recognition for polytechnic education at both local and international levels.

On the plea of the students to the Ministry for more time to prepare for their examinations, the Minister said enough time had been wasted and it was better for students to co-operate with their institutions to ensure that the academic calendar was not further disrupted.

"We have already wasted enough time and we are all well aware of the backlog of other students waiting for admission," he said. Dr Nsiah Gyabaah, Chairman of the Conference of Polytechnic Principals, appealed for further co-operation on behalf of stakeholders and affiliated bodies.

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