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01.06.2006 Education

GNUPS opposes privatization of hostels

By The Ghanaian Times
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The Ghana National Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) says it will use all legitimate means to resist any attempt by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) Board to privatize hostel facilities put up with money from the fund.

The union said privatizing the hostels would overburden the students who will bear the recovery cost of the private operators.

At a news conference in Accra on challenges facing the polytechnics, GNUPS president, Martin Kwame Sedem, described the move by the GETFund Board as “quite unfortunate”, saying the polytechnics have efficient and effective management personnel to manage the facilities.

Mr. Sedem said when GNUPS received notice from its “reliable sources” that the GETFund Board had initiated moves to privatize the hostel facilities, the leadership contacted the GETFund Board which gave the assurance in a letter dated May 28, that their request not to privatize the hostels would be considered.

Mr. Sedem emphasized that if the GETFund Board goes ahead to privatize the hostel facilities, the purpose for which they were built would be defeated.

Touching on the plight of polytechnic staff, he urged government to take pragmatic steps to find lasting solutions instead of the piecemeal approach being adopted.

“Any further delay in the negotiations and conclusion of these concerns will compel the students of the polytechnics to take to the streets to demonstrate in support of POTAG (Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana) and TEWU” (Teachers and Educational Workers Union, Polytechnic branch).

On job placement for polytechnic graduates, he said the Public Service Commission issued a policy statement on September 8, 2004 to reiterate the senior staff status of the HND graduate in the public and civil service.

Mr. Sedem said in spite of the policy statement, some organizations had chosen to disobey it and urged the government to impress it upon such organizations to implement the policy without delay.