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JHS 3 students decry teachers strike as BECE approaches

Some Junior High School (JHS) students have expressed fear that their preparation for the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) may not be adequate due to the ongoing industrial action by their teachers.

On March 20, the three teacher unions namely, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) declared an official strike due to unsatisfactory conditions of service.

According to the unions, the government had failed to renew its collective agreement, among other concerns, following its expiration in 2023.

They argued that since all efforts to get the government to the negotiation table have proven futile, laying down their tools was their last resort.

However, students who are at the receiving end of the impasse between the government and their teachers have been sharing their concerns with JoyNews.

A third-year student at St. Paul RC Basic School at Caprice, Accra, Samuel, said that without the guidance of his teachers, he might not be adequately prepared for the upcoming BECE examination.

"We have only three months left to write our BECE, and if there are no teachers, how are we going to write our BECE? So we need teachers to come and help us learn to pass our BECE examination," he said.

Meanwhile, Samuel said that he has joined a study group to make good use of his time.

"We have to learn on our own. We teach ourselves sometimes and find someone who understands other subjects to take over and teach us for us to cope", he explained.

Another student of the same school added that schools now close earlier than usual, while students have been advised to study on their own.

"We are going home because of the strike, and we were told to learn on our own. Our seniors in JHS three came to watch over us while we study, and we are coming to write exams soon. If we don’t learn too, we will fail," she claimed.

The students are calling on the government to promptly address the teachers' concerns to ensure that teaching and learning can resume and to prevent mass exam failures.

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