POTAG MUST END STRIKE NOW!

IT is now obvious that there is no end in sight for the strike action embarked upon about eight weeks ago, by the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG).

It also appears that the association’s action may prolong beyond the expectation of both students and parents.

After weeks of sending students home, and suspending semester examinations, members of POTAG who are protesting against the non-payment of their Book and Research Allowances, seem determined to continue the strike, as they have stated categorically that it would continue until all issues involved are addressed.

Mr. Michael Appiah, chairman of the Takoradi Chapter, in response to an appeal made by Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, Minister of Education, to return to the classroom, insisted that the appeal was only sentimental and failed to address the main concerns raised by the polytechnic teachers.

The utterances of POTAG officials show the huge differences that exist between government and the association.

The teachers have taken an entrenched position refusing to be flexible in their demand, although, both sides, as well as parents, agree that the strike is not in the best interest of the students and their education.

That is why we also appeal to the POTAG to return to the classroom and the negotiating table, to resolve the problem amicably.

It is needless pointing accusing fingers at anybody in this impasse since the matter is in court, but it is obvious that the strike has disrupted the academic calendar of the polytechnics and brought the last semester to an abrupt end.

A prolonged strike would therefore have a major negative impact on the students, their families and the polytechnics.

We urge POTAG to soften its stand and urge the government and the National Labour Commission to endeavour to reach a settlement with the teachers, to enable academic work at the polytechnics to resume.

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