Academic activities in public basic and secondary schools in Cape Coast Metropolis have come to a halt following the strike action by four teacher unions.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) on Tuesday laid down their tools over demands for Cost-of-Living Allowance (CoLA).
It is the case of the striking teachers that the current economic downturn in the country was having a bitter toll on their lives, and they needed a 20 per cent allowance from the Government to cushion them.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed during a visit to some schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis that the classrooms were deserted, and others disorganised as the learners had a field day.
At the Mfantsipim School, the strike was in full force as teachers stayed out of the classrooms.
It was, however, noticed that the action had coincided with the school’s sporting week, making the impact minimal.
The classrooms were open to students to have their personal studies.
An authority of the school who pleaded anonymity indicated that they were in support of the action, given the prevailing harsh economic conditions.
The authority, however, expressed the school’s commitment to maintain the management control measures to protect the students.
“The classrooms will be opened for students to study but we are hoping that the strike will be over by the time we finish with the sports,” the Authority said.
The situation was not different at the Adisadel College where students were seen in the classroom with no teachers.
The campus was very calm and quiet with some students loitering about.
The campus of the Holy Child School was calm and organised with some students assuming the role of teachers and were leading discussions with their colleagues.
At the St Nicholas Anglican JHS, nearly all the teachers were absent and a National Service Personnel was in charge.
Some of the classes were empty while majority of pupils played football and other games.
Some final year students, speaking to the GNA, expressed concern that the strike would negatively affect them, with barely three months to write their final exams.
“We have not completed some subjects but we are writing our papers in October. It will be disastrous for us if the teachers do not return to the classroom”, they said.
All the classes at the AME Zion basic school were empty as the school children resorted to playing, loitering about and sitting and chatting in groups.
Madam Salamatu Gawsu, the Central Region Chairperson of NAGRAT, said her tour of various schools had shown the strike was very effective and impactful with full compliance from school authorities.
“Nobody is teaching. Some are writing mock and no one is supervising them and so they are using NABCO trainees,” she said.
She maintained that the strike would be sustained until their demands were met.
Mrs Gawsu called on all school authorities and striking staff to support the actions to press home their demand to get what was due them.