There is growing tension at the Tamale Technical University (TaTU) after a week-long protest against plans by the management of the university to increase school fees by 15 percent intensified on Friday, March 17, 2023.
The Students’ Representative Council of the university announced a total boycott of all academic activities “with immediate effect” on Friday morning, adding that it will not back down until their “legitimate concerns are met”.
When GhanaWeb visited the campus on Friday, all lecture halls were empty with just a few students loitering around with no signs of any academic activity ongoing.
The SRC President of the Tamale Technical University, Seidu John-Paul told GhanaWeb that they decided to boycott academic activities because the management of the university was inconsistent on the matter of fee increment.
“In his [Registrar of TaTU] address, he stated that there [will be] nothing like school fees increment this academic year, so he was able to calm the student populace down, we boycotted classes but his word calmed us down, so we opened classrooms for tuition.
“After that, management invited us, so we were there and so we met with the VC and some management members of the school, the VC stated that there is going to be school fees increment whether we like it or not,” he told GhanaWeb.
Some of the students who spoke on condition of anonymity said there were widespread rumours that some aggrieved students plan to forcefully implement the boycott and deal with defiant students and lecturers.
“Aside from the SRC’s notice, we also heard this morning that some [students] will go round and make sure they stop any lecturer from lecturing. They even said they will use force if need be,” one of the students said.
The TaTU chapter of the Technical University Teachers’ Association (TUTAG) in a notice to its members intercepted by GhanaWeb advised all lecturers to stay away from the lecture halls until the matter is resolved.
The circular, titled “Notice to TUTAG Members on the ongoing threat of demonstration and boycott of lectures by SRC” said, “We are unable to predict the reaction of the students to the lecturer if they are on rounds to stop their colleagues from partaking in ongoing lectures”.
“We, therefore, entreat all our members to suspend any ongoing or intended lectures until we communicate to you after monitoring the stability of the situation,” the circular added.
The students started boycotting lectures at the beginning of the week to protest against the plans by management to increase their school fees.