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03.06.2005 General News

Students appeal to JAK

GNA

Accra, June 3, GNA - Students of first and second cycle schools in the country on Friday appealed to President John Agyekum Kufuor to immediately intervene in the impasse between the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Ministry of Education and Sports. "Mr President, we humbly beg you and all stakeholders in education to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in the impasse between NAGRAT and Ghana Education Service, which has compelled our teachers to embark on an indefinite strike action for almost a month now," the students stated at a press conference in Accra.

The students are members of the Peer Mediation Clubs of the Reverend Ernest Bruce JSS, Adabraka, St Theresa's JSS, North Kaneshie, West Africa Secondary School, Tema Secondary School and Presbyterian Boys Secondary School.

The West African Dispute Resolution Centre (WADREC), a civil society organisation, organized the press conference.

The message from the Ernest Bruce read: "We are appealing to our teachers, the President, GES and Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) to negotiate for our welfare, reconsider your grievances and consider our interest.

"To NAGRAT we say, you are the one who make us useful and acceptable members in the community, society, nation and the world at large. When doctors don't go to work people's life are at stake. When teachers don't go to work the nation perishes."

St Theresa's JSS said: "When two big animals fight, it is the grass that suffers. It is with this saying that we appeal to all the parties, especially our dear hard working teachers, to please soften your stand."

They expressed concern about difficulties in the education sector, which included shortages of teachers, inadequate teaching and learning materials, huge size of the syllabus.

To NAGRAT, the JSS students said: "We appeal to you to return to the classroom, while the impasse is resolved amicably, so that our brothers and sisters can study effectively towards their examination.

"While we sympathize with your cause, we plead with you to reconsider your actions for the sake of us the students, the future leaders of this country...we also want you to know that you are very important to the country and without you our country would not grow." Tema Secondary School urged NAGRAT to return to the classroom, saying: "We the students do appreciate your grievances and sincerely sympathise with you because we know the challenging and sometimes unacceptable conditions under which you work.

"You deserve to be adequately remunerated and motivated to develop the human resources base of this nation."

The students said they recognized that the strike action had affected academic work especially preparation towards the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination and discipline and had the potential of derailing government's development efforts. They, therefore, appealed NAGRAT to ignore all provocations on the airwaves and return to the classroom in the interest of the students especially the final year students.

The Presbyterian Boys Secondary School said the students thought the strike action by NAGRAT was meant to be a short-lived fight for the betterment of the profession but it had turned out to be a fight that threatened to last for eternity.

The West Africa Secondary School urged the Government to consider the demands of the heads of schools and the graduate teaching staff. The students also appealed to the graduate teachers to meet the Government halfway since it might not have the resources to satisfy them fully.

"We the SSS students especially the final year students are appealing to the Ministry of Education, NAGRAT and GES today to help us by softening their stand and bring our teachers back to the classroom," the students stated.

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