The Deputy Minister of health, Tina Mensah on Monday February 12, could not believe the dejection and mismanagement she witnessed at the Bolgatanga Nurses’ Training College (NTC) which was temporarily closed down in November 2017 following a feud between tutors and the principal, Awalu Bawa.
“It is terrible. I am not satisfied at all. What I am seeing around, it is so sad to have an institution like this especially that talks about health or teaches health and you see it like this. It is so sad.”
Answering a question from the media as to whether the ministry would consider closing down the school to pave way for renovation and expansion works, the deputy minister said; “It should be one of the recommendations if I should have my own way. But then I am going to propose same and we are going to give certain recommendations now. “
She admitted since she took over office as deputy minister, the ministry has received petitions of accusations and counter accusations from tutors and the principal which be she said was not healthy for the management of the institution.
She further lamented; “We have come to see for ourselves what we have been hearing. We have come; we have seen the infrastructure that tutors have been talking about. The classrooms, in fact, things are not going on well here. I’m not happy especially when we got to the male dormitories, it was terrible. Horrible, horrible that I won’t allow my child to come and learn in such situation and on top, there is no washroom for the students at all and it has been that for ten years now. No washrooms and so students come to school and they defecate around everywhere. They don’t have washrooms. They go about easing themselves everywhere that they find themselves. This is terrible. I, if you ask me, the school, since it an old school, it should rather be broken down and be put up again than continuing putting money into it.”
Should that be considered, according to Mrs. Mensah, the students could be distributed to other schools to allow for a complete pull down and reconstruction of the school.
On EOCO and BNI investigations in the allegations that the principal embezzled money to the tune of over Ghc 80,000, Mrs. Mensah said the principal, Awalu Bawa and the account of the college, were found culpable and both have started refunding the money they embezzled. She however could not confirm if the money they two embezzled amounted to Ghc 80,000 as was alleged by the tutors.
Mrs. Mensah revealed: “We have talked to the culprits themselves, that’s the principal and the account which they have confirmed that there were certain monies that they have refunded to the school. That means there was some money aspect of it which is criminal aspect but we are looking at the human aspect of it now.”
She appealed the students to continue to stay calm even in their current situation and within the shortest possible time, the ministry would fix the problems confronting the college.
The head of training institutions at the ministry of health, Dr. Kwesi Asabir, who accompanied the deputy minister, admitted the plight of tutors and students of the college deserved immediate action and promised they would work to resolve all the challenges the college was faced with.
Meanwhile, tutors who spoke to the media were not satisfied that their demand for the principal, Mr. Awalu to step aside was not granted by the minister. According to them, the fact that there were issues of embezzlement and no final decision had been taken and the principal was still in office, he could interfere with investigations.
When approached, Mr. Awalu declined to speak to the media as he claimed he had been cautioned not to speak to the media.