Tutors of the Bolgatanga Nurses’ Training College in the Upper East Region Tuesday October 10, 2017, locked up the office of the principal of the college, Awalu Bawa and threatened to resist any attempts to revert their action.
TopNews Ghana is reliably aware that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Bureau of National investigation (BNI) have already launched investigations into alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of funds belonging to the college by the principal.
It is against this background that the tutors are concerned that if the principal does not step down to allow for investigations to continue, he will temper with evidence that could be used against him.
Among a heap of allegations piled up against Mr. Awalu is his refusal to set up a procurement committee and as a result, they have observed that procurement of goods and services are taking place in the college without recourse the procurement processes.
“For instance, whilst the college’s infrastructure is almost dilapidated, the principal unilaterally purchased and fixed CCTV cameras in the college. It is also alleged that the principal is the sole supplier of food items to the college. Additionally, there have been complaints that some of the foodstuffs are infested with insects and moulds. Furthermore, the principal has sunk a borehole at his residence at a cost not known and whether it’s value for money”. The tutors alleged.
In a letter dated 15th September, 2017, signed by Mr. Edward Atiim, a senior tutor of the college on behalf of 17 other tutors and addressed to the acting head of Health Training Institutions Unit of the Ministry of Health, the tutors lamented over the inadequate infrastructure and dilapidated classrooms with virtually no teaching and learning equipment. They said “…whilst there are six (6) cluster students requiring six (6) classrooms to ensure that all students are engaged to complete the huge syllabi by the end of the semester, only 4 of the designated classrooms and auditorium are in mildly habitable state. These facilities are leaking with some of them having electrical problems. There was a plan to renovate the hostels during the last holidays which never saw the light of day.”
The aggrieved tutors again said there is no working space for them as they are clustered in two dormitory-like space without air-conditioners. This they say has erased their duty to counsel students on academic and social life.
On sanitation, Mr. Atiim – led aggrieved tutors said there are woefully inadequate toilet facilities for the college thus forcing students to resort to open defecation within the environment of the college and in the community which often brings confrontations between the college and the community members.
As a result of the insistent excuses by the principal about lack of funds, several different fields and clinical activities that require students to be sent on placement and field trips under the supervision of their tutors are not carried out.
The principal has also been accused of taking unilateral decisions on critical issues that inevitably require tutors’ inputs. For instance, the tutors say in the history of the college, students who do not make Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA) of 2.0 are not registered for the licensure examination while continuing students who trail will resit their papers with the weak ones repeated, the principal after these were communicated to him, went round to revoke all the agreements with the students without prior discussions with tutors. This they say has led to indiscipline among some students.
They also accused their head of attempting to replace a long serving causal worker with an unknown person for permanent employment. According to them, sometime this year, there was an opportunity given by the government to the college to regularize the employment of some individuals who had been working in the college for years. However, drawing to the end of the process, it was observed that one of the long serving casual workers had his name excluded and replaced with an unknown staff of the college whose name eventually found its way onto the casual workers’ payroll and the person paid monthly. They contended there is evidence to suggest that this person does not work with the college but is also being processed to replace a long serving casual worker who is well known in the college which they see as unfair.
When TopNews Ghana contacted the principal, Mr. Awalu after his office was locked up; he said he was not aware of the action of his tutors but admitted he was aware of their concerns.
He said: “They have already raised this issue and I don’t know, should I say investigation is ongoing and I also had met them for us to look at it and see how we can address this issue. And if you don’t mind, I will advise that tomorrow morning [11th October, 2017] I want to tell you that I am ready to speak to the issue for you and the public to know exactly what is going on.”