General News of Thursday, 12 October 2017
The Tutors and Students of the Bolgatanga Nurses’ Training College (BNTC) have locked out up the office of the Principal of the College, Mr. Awalu Bawa, accusing him of mismanaging the institution.
The tutors and students, who had red bands on their wrists and heads to register their displeasure concerning academic and welfare challenges of the College and called for an immediate investigation into the alleged mismanagement of the school.
While the tutors were busy locking up the office of the Principal, the students marched peacefully to the Regional Health Directorate to present a petition to the Director of Health Services, Dr. Kofi Issah.
Mr Edward Atiim, a Deputy Chief Health Tutor, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga, on behalf of the tutors, said there were long-standing challenges in the College, which impeded academic performance and that efforts to change the situation to ensure the training of good quality nurses had proved futile.
“With the arrival of the current head of the College, we thought some of these challenges would have abated, but to our surprise, the state of the College was getting worse day by day and it is now in a crisis state”, he said.
He said when Mr. Bawa took over the administration of the College in 2016, he promised to use committees to manage the school and operate an open-door policy, using the bottom-up approach but that had not been the case.
Mr. Atiim said several meetings held by tutors to prompt the Principal to implement his plans to effectively run the College, “fell on deaf ears, and he continued to take unilateral decisions which have affected the College negatively.”
He said procurement of goods and services were done without recourse to the procurement processes and also not in line with the priority and needs of the college.
“For instance, whiles the College’s physical infrastructure is almost dilapidated, the principal unilaterally decided to purchase and fix CCTV cameras in the college.”
He said the Principal had constructed a bore-hole at his residence at an unknown cost, while the entire student population of about 410 had no source of water and had a walk to the town, which affects academic activities as they usually attended lectures late and in some cases missed out.
Mr. Atim said the tutors did not have enough office space to prepare for lectures or the privacy to hold counseling sessions with students when the need arises.
He said sanitation was a problem in the College as students resorted to open defecation within the school’s compound and sometimes go all the way to the town to attend natures call, saying, “we think there is an urgent need for intervention to salvage the college from total collapse”.
Mr. Simon Kombian, the BNTC Students Representative Council’s President, told the GNA that “we also decided to come out in our numbers and lay out our grievances to the authorities and the public so that they would know what is happening”.
He said they paid GH¢240.00 as computer maintenance fees per semester, yet “when you come to our ICT lab, it is an eyesore, because sockets and ceiling fans are not functioning, the issues are many.”
When the GNA contacted Mr. Bawa via telephone, he said he had not received any petition concerning the issues raised, but confirmed that his office had been locked up, and that, he had reported the issue to the Regional Health Directorate and was waiting for instructions.