Ghanaian University Students Still In Limbo




THE PLIGHT of university students in the country is a sorry one. Their lecturers are still out of the lecture theatres and a general threat to close down such institutions indefinitely is looming.

We wish matters had not reached this avoidable stage. Parents have not found it easy pushing their wards to the tertiary level in a country where the economy has not been charitable to the people in general, as real income continues to witness a downward spiral.

For students, who have scaled the many hurdles on their way, to be slapped with this freshbitter plight through no fault of theirs, is most unfair.

Education, which would remain the cornerstone of our development, especially as the source of the country?s human resource base, is one sector which should receive priority from the state.

Thus far, however, there does not seem to be such commitment on the part of policymakers at the helm, the result of which is a festering strike by university lecturers.

It would be an understatement to point out that education is receiving lip-service from the government; a situation which should be reversed.

Fantastic educational policies have been flaunted by the government even before they assumed the reins of governance, most of which, if not all, have proven to be hot air with little or no effect on students and their lecturers. Morale, therefore, continues to wane.

It is this impression that many have about the seeming indifference of government to the sorry plight of students in the tertiary institutions.

The relationship between the lecturers and government is hinged on mistrust. The former do not have confidence in the promises from the latter regarding the honouring of their outstanding allowances. So bad is the mistrust that, promises from government are not only taken with a pinch of salt but dismissed outright.

If there is a sector in the country which should not be toyed with, it is the education sector. Unfortunately, this is one sector whose neglect is household knowledge.

It would be in the interest of the country, if another attempt is made to engage with the lecturers by state players. But this time around, the engagement should be steeped in sincerity and veracity. The confidence of the negotiators from the ivory towers and their counterparts from government should be established, otherwise the attempt would be useless.

We believe that when the lecturers are told the truth, they would not hesitate to accept what is offered them. Lecturers do not come from mars. They are Ghanaians and, therefore, witnesses to the profligate expenditure of state players including stealing from state coffers. Negotiators should, therefore, be ready to meet with challenging times when dealing with the striking lecturers.

It would not be enough to tell them there is no money when they are privy to how money from the state kitty is being spent on ventures which border on waste, graft and how to maintain perpetual grip over power. God save us.

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