Polytechnic Students To Undertake National Service

Polytechnic students who were unable to write their final year examinations due to the on-going strike by their teachers, are to be considered to undertake their national service.

Mr.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa-Deputy Minister of Education (4)The decision followed the outcome of a meeting between the Ministry of Education, and the National Service Secretariat (NSS) concerning the fate of the students.

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, who disclosed this to The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, said the students would be made to take their final examinations when the teachers return to work.

The members of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) have been on strike since May this year over non-payment of their book and research allowance arrears by the government.

Their absence from the classroom made it impossible for examinations to be conducted in the polytechnics across the country, thus creating anxiety among the final year students over their fate in the national service postings.

“All polytechnic final year students will be posted for national service,” Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa assured.

National service postings are expected to be announced by the NSS this month

He explained that during the discussions, the ministry urged the NSS to post the affected students to institutions in the regions of their respective polytechnics.

That, he said, would ensure proximity to their schools and make it easy for them to take their examinations when the strike is called off by POTAG.

He assured the students that government was making the necessary efforts to ensure that their teachers called off the strike, and urged them to continue learning and hold themselves in readiness for the examinations.

Government in November 2013 announced the scrapping of the Book and Research Allowance to be replaced with a Research and Innovation Fund. An amount of GH¢3.75 million representing 25 per cent of the earmarked funds, was in February released into an account for the establishment of the fund.

But POTAG and other teacher associations in public tertiary institutions, have kicked against the scrapping of the allowance.

By Edmund Mingle

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