THE Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Tanoso Community Health Nurses’ Training School at Tanoso, near Sunyani in the Tano North District of the Brong Ahafo Region, has apologised on behalf of the students of the school to the principal and the administration for a demonstration organised by the students on November 24, last year.
The demonstration by the students took place 20 days after the new Principal of the College, Mr William Abotzabire, took office from the immediate past Principal, Ms Josephine Koranteng Asare, who served as principal since the establishment of the school about eight years ago.
The students organised the demonstration to call the attention of the school authorities to the poor quality of food served them, the delay in the release of their allowances, overcrowding in the hostels leading to the spread of skin diseases, poor lighting system on the school campus, broken-down furniture and the non-utilisation of the development fee of GH¢25 paid by the students.
An apology letter signed by the SRC President, Enoch Damoah, and all the executive members to the principal, and copied to the Daily Graphic said, “On accounts of the demonstration which occurred on November 24, 2010, the whole school stands to apologise to our dear principal and the whole administration for demonstrating against them particularly the principal who has not yet settled”.
It said: “They realised their demonstration was not done at the right time and even should not have been done at all because we now know it was baseless. Please sir, the whole students have regretted and are appealing to you to forgive us again as your sons and daughters,” the letter stated.
The students pledged to abide by the rules and regulations of the school.
A visit by this reporter to the school to ascertain whether the issues raised by the students have been resolved, indicated that the poor lighting system and the poor quality of food have been improved while steps were being taken by the principal to resolve the others.
When contacted, Mr Abotzabire said the problems raised by the students had persisted before he took over as the principal and while he was in the process of solving some of the problems the students embarked on the demonstration.
The principal stated that within his short stay in office, he had been able to improve on the quality of food, the lighting system, the public address system and also was in the process of repairing broken furniture.
On the overcrowding in the hostels, Mr Abotzabire said he was making efforts to resolve them.
He explained that his predecessor signed some admission letters in replacement of students who did not honour their admission for the 2010/2011 academic year at the time he had taken over as the principal, which had increased the number of students from 170 to 176.
Mr Abotzabire noted that although the students had apologised he still stood by his earlier appeal to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to set up an independent committee to investigate the students’ demonstration, since he had a strong conviction that there might be some ‘forces’ behind it.
“I fear the staff because I do not know who is behind the demonstration because there is no smoke without fire. I came to meet some of the grievances of the students,” he said.
Mr Abotzabire said if the independent body came to investigate and made its recommendations he would be acting with a reference point.
He added that the investigation by an independent body would also help curb further demonstrations in the future.
Further inquiries by this reporter revealed that since the inception of the school about eight years ago students have been paying for entertainment and sports fees but no item for such activities have been bought and now the students are demanding items such as ludo, draught, footballs and whistles, for sports and games.