The Bolgatanga Nurses Training College in the Upper East Region, is in a deplorable state, unfit for human habitation, Madam Tina Gifty Mensah, Deputy Minister for Health has said.
Madam Mensah who toured the College, described it as terrible, and said the Ministry had received several petitions from tutors about the state of the College.
Most of its structures have cracks, windows without louvre blades, inadequate furniture and lecture halls and poor office space for tutors, which hindered academic activities.
Students at the College compete for space at both male and female hostels as rooms contain as much as 30 students instead of five, with poor lighting and exposed electrical cables coupled with non-functioning ceiling fans, broken doors and ceilings. The situation is not different at the lecture halls.
The 440 students of the College practiced open defecation on campus and in the nearby community, exposing them to reptiles and attacks from some community members especially at night.
Motorists and animals invade the campus at all times, whilst some community members, farm and offer sacrifices to their gods close to the entrance of the male hostel.
At the tutors’ office, which doubles as office of the Vice Principal, there also have inadequate and broken furniture, which compelled the tutors to use the fewer furniture on first come bases.
Madam Mensah who was accompanied by the Head of Health Training Institutions, the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Regional Manager of the Nurses and Midwifery Council and some stakeholders, held separate close door meetings with the Principal and tutors to listen to their grievances.
She expressed disgust about the situation and said, “ I do not think it is good for people to learn in such an environment, no it is horrible and I will not allow my child to come and study in such a situation”.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Weija-Gbawe Constituency, further observed that for over a decade, there had not been washrooms for students, adding, “Students come to school and defecate around everywhere, this is terrible”.
She suggested that the school be razed down and reconstructed instead of putting money into it for renovation, and said the students could be shared among other nursing institutions to continue with academic activities whilst the construction work continued.
Madam Mensah used the opportunity to appeal to the students to exercise restraint and put up with the situation, and assured them that things would be put right for them to learn in a conductive atmosphere, within the shortest possible time.
Dr Kwesi Asabir, the Head of Health Training Institutions, said the team led by the Deputy Minister, would hold a stakeholder’s meetings to enable it make an informed decision on the situation, “we think the students are suffering, and we cannot sit down and allow students who have paid fees to go through this ordeal.”
Mr William Sebil, the Vice Principal of the College, told the Ghana News Agency that lack of infrastructure compelled management to divide the students into ‘A’ and ‘B’ for lectures since they could not combined all in a lecture hall.
He said some students usually stood by windows and doors to listen to lectures which affected academic performance and discipline.
He appealed to authorities to address the challenges of the institution as soon as possible to improve teaching and learning.