Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Strike on Campus

Going to school in Ghana comes with a few setbacks. Last Monday, I was ready for a normal week of classes after missing some for the dance productions, and when I arrived at my first class I found out all the teachers were on strike. I figured it would be a one day strike and classes would resume the next day, but I quickly found out this was not the case. Some Ghanaians told us that the last strike lasted for three weeks and in the past they have closed for a whole semester! The reason for the current strike is a problem between the government and the professors: the teachers were supposed to have a salary increase last year and it never happened, so until the government agrees to pay them they will continue with the strike. Many teachers here have multiple jobs so they can support themselves and their families.

We are in the middle of week two of the strike and now they are making special arrangements for international students so we can still receive credit for classes. Most of the classes are meeting again, but only with the non-Ghanaian students. My friend Molly and I have had some of our dance classes so far and it has been us, our teacher Mr. Newman, and three teaching assistants. Probably the best teacher to student ratio I will ever have. The class was an absolute blast, but I really miss my Ghanaian colleagues. Everyone is waiting to hear about a stirke update but no one knows for sure when it will be resolved. Until then, I guess I will continue to have nearly private lessons in dance!

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