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09.06.2005 General News

Students demonstrate against NAGRAT


Accra, June 9, GNA - Students in second cycle institutions in Accra on Thursday went on a peaceful demonstration to appeal to striking members of the National Association of Graduate Teachers of Ghana to go back to the classroom.

Starting from the Holy Gardens at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, thousands of protestors with some wearing red bands on the arms and the heads, refused to bow to a suggestion from Mr Stephen Balado Manu, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education to cancel the march since the issue was being considered by Parliament. A heavy traffic jam ensued on the Ring Road as the students defied a heavy downpour and proceeded with the demonstration. They went through some principal streets of Accra through Kokomlemle, Accra New Town, Nima, Ridge, the Castle Road, Osu and ended at the Ministry of Education and Sports, where the Student Leadership presented their concerns to the Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah.

The Leadership of the National Union of Ghana Students, together with the Greater Accra Students Representative Council organised the protest march to consolidate their appeal to the graduate teachers to resume lectures after a press conference on the strike action last Monday.

Police prevented the students from getting into the NAGRAT office at the Accra New Town, but the NUGS Leadership, led by its President Mr Forgor Abubakari, presented the students' plea to top members of the NAGRAT.

Mr Kwame Alorvi, NAGRAT President, flanked by some officials of the Association, standing on a pick-up van, and shielded by an umbrella from the heavy rains told the students that the Association was touched by "this crowd of future leaders in the rain" and promised to relay the concern to the NAGRAT Council, which would meet on Friday on the impasse between the GES, adding that they would do what ever was necessary to go back to the classroom, and further thanked the students for their endurance.

At the Offices of the GES, the NUGS President thanked the Deputy Minister for the role of the Ministry in the negotiations so far reached on the impasse, and for designing a package for the striking teachers. Mr Abubakari appealed to the Ministry to nip the bud a looming strike action by the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana. The Deputy Minister told the students that the Ministry would co-operate and expressed the hope that the problem would soon be resolved.

Addressing the students later, the NUGS President said the Union would announce its next course of action if the members of NAGRAT failed to resume teaching next week.