Teachers at both first and second-cycle public schools in the Ketu South Municipality have deserted the classrooms in solidarity with the ongoing nationwide strike action by four teachers’ unions.
The unions, Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers and Teachers and Education Workers Union Monday declared an indefinite nationwide strike to demand Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA).
The Ghana News Agency’s (GNA) visit to some basic and senior high schools in the Municipality Tuesday showed that the teachers had complied with the directive by their union leadership to lay down their tools as none could be found at the schools visited.
At Avoeme Junior High School (JHS), no pupil or staff was present when GNA got there while at Aflao (Ghana) R. C. Basic School, pupils were out playing on the school compound.
A man at the gate to the school, who identified himself only as the security guard, explained that no teacher was available and the headteacher who had briefly left the campus directed that the pupils be kept in the school a little longer before dispersing them to go back home.
At SS Peter and Paul R.C. School, some disappointed JHS 3 pupils, who had come for extra classes, had to leave as their teachers did not show up.
Emmanuela Kpasra, a final year JHS 3 student, feared the impact of the teachers’ strike would deal a major blow to their preparations for the final examination slated for October this year and called on the government to find a way to meet the demand of the teacher unions so they could return to the classrooms.
“We (JHS 3 class) came here thinking our teachers would come for extra class. This strike will really affect us because we’re vacating next month. Then, the third week after resumption will be sports. We have just a little time to prepare and you know when we don’t perform, it’s us who will take the blame. I’m pleading with the government to do something about our teachers’ demand.”
Mr Mickson Kwame Akpavor, the Chairman, Ketu District Council of GNAT, in an interview encouraged his colleagues to continue to stay away from the classrooms until any contrary directive from their leadership at the top, saying the demands being made of government emanated from “the down to the top leadership” in the best interest of the teacher unions in the country.