Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Joint Press Conference called for tomorrow(Oct11th 2012) – FUTA / GOVT

Always a lover of publicity to gain maximum exposure, both the Govt. and FUTA have decided to hold a joint press conference tomorrow to explain the deal that has been made. Whilst the Govt. spokesman will not want to show any climb down by them in agreeing to some of the more reasonable terms, FUTA will also want to be seen to have achieved their objectives, despite the lack of value in some of the statements and demands they made, especially in regards to the 6% of GDP for the state education allocation.

In this win win scenario, it will be interesting to see who the preferred spokesperson are for each side to clearly explain the resolution to the demands and the 4 months of work stoppage. Neither will accept blame.

In this game of bluff and counter bluff it is the University Students who have suffered the most, who have been turfed out of their hostels and other accommodation, with the need to provide some relief for them and ensure they do not delay their progress towards their hard fought degrees.

The Students supported the FUTA demands, and I would only expect the Lecturers to back the students this time to ensure they are not left out of the reckoning. The reality is that after the dust settles, it is the Undergraduates and the next batch about to enter the University, who have suffered from the turmoil of the past 6 months, and it does not look as if there is any relief for their grouses.

Let us now hope that this press conference provides a useful forum for the next step and not merely a face-saving exercise to prove each party’s point in the debate. It should address all the matters of interest now to the students who have suffered in this tug of war with solutions to their grievances in the overall context of better facilities, better teaching environment, better and more up to date syllabi, with employability as a goal for all students at the conclusion of their studies.

It is important therefore that the real beneficiaries and in the same vein those who suffered most from this action, the students and future students to the State University System come first. All steps MUST be taken to ensure that their rights are restored and they are able to resume their studies and are able to catch up with the lost classes so that there is NO delay in their graduation and future employment prospects as a result of the past union action.

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