University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has held a stakeholder consultative forum in Kumasi.
The forum dubbed “Towards Receiving the First Batch of Free SHS Students in the Public Universities; the Roles of University and Teachers.”
The forum brought together vibrant university lecturers, administrators, students among many others.
The stakeholders meeting discussed issues towards the absorption of free SHS students into public universities this year.
The forum also discussed issues pertaining to welfare of lecturers, infrastructures and technology.
Professor Nana Yaa Afia Amponsaa Opoku-Asare, associate Prof. to the faculty of education says the chunk students entering universities this year due to free SHS demand adequate preparation towards.
She said, the swift and applauded government free SHS policy needs to care also about the furtherance of the policy through the universities.
According to her, universities, lecturers and all stakeholders need better position to think about the student’s career with better intuition.
To sustain the larger number of students entering universities, Prof. Opoku-Asase noted that, “staff welfare should be looked at more critically and with consciousness, effort should be made to prepare both the teaching and non-teaching staff for the takeoff.
” A large number will add to the stress levels of the teaching staff in particular,” she stated.
According to her, this will affect the health and emotional status of the university teachers and they have to find effective ways of psyching themselves up for the journey ahead.
As part of the preparation, universities have to employ more teachers since the current teacher students ratio will exceed their carrying capacity.
She maintained student numbers continue to rise and create an imbalance in the academic and administrative workload of university teachers in KNUST.
In his presentation, Prof. Charles Barnor the Pro Vice Chancellor of UPSA urged the government to ensure technology learning in our universities.
As part of government mechanisms to absorb free SHS leavers into the universities, he urged government to put more into physical expansion of existing institutions and invest in capacity building.
Prof. Barnor says application of modern education should be able to address complex goals through technology. This According to him should be collective responsibility of both government, universities management and lecturers.
He urges government to increase the retirement age from 60 years to 70 years.
This he said will help employ more diversity of experienced age to contribute to conducive environment for teaching and learning.
He maintained that obtaining lectures is difficult because qualified lecturers prefer joining other sectors where the condition of service are better, while many others seek greener pastures.
Prof. Charles Marfo, the national president of UTAG says they will continue to engage government to ensure the smooth running of the process.
He said though there are challenges confronting UTAG, the organization will continue to fish different schemes to resolve them.