Friday, February 11, 2011

2700 SCHOOL OF HYGIENE GRADUATES STRANDED


THE RELEVANCE of the School of Hygiene under the Ministry of Health, which has a core mandate of training health promoters/sanitary inspectors to fight against bad environmental practices in the country, is now being undermined by the continuous failure by government to employ graduates from the School.

At the moment, serious tension is being mounted on the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in particular which has since assumption of office failed to absorb graduates from the school, to immediately find jobs for them, or make public declaration to close down the Schools.

Savannahnews has gathered that the 2008, 2009 and 2010 batches of the Tamale School of Hygiene numbering over 2700 and those in Accra and Ho are now stranded without any fate, with most of them reportedly finding their routes back to the streets in search of menial jobs, while others are also said to have become liabilities on their parents back home.

The paper further gathered that similar problems are being recorded in Accra and Ho Schools of Hygiene where thousands of graduates from the schools are allegedly becoming nuisance to the society.

However, the frustrated students of the Tamale School of Hygiene in a petition signed by Alhassan Zubeiru, Spokesperson, Mohammed Awal, Secretary and Abdul Rahaman Jelil, Organiser and issued to Savannahnews in Tamale, dropped a hint of hitting the streets of Tamale to draw government attention to their problems.

They have therefore given a twenty-one day ultimatum to the government and for that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (Mother Employer) starting from February 9thth 2011 to begin posting all of them or provide them with alternative jobs. Anything contrary to this request, they said would thus compel them to advise themselves appropriately and the impact they said could be disastrous for government to bear.

“School of Hygiene is a Health Training Institution that secures its admission and pays fees like any Health Institutions like Nurses and Midwifery Training Colleges, Community Health Nurses Training Schools and Health Assistants Training Schools. The Institution runs a two year course and attains its Environmental Health Certificate through the Ghana Health Examination Board. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Health always hands graduates from the School of Hygiene to the Ministry of Local Government for posting, but the Local Government Ministry does not see the urgent need to post Students from the School because they did not incur any cost in our training,” the petition stated.

The aggrieved students asserted that the ruling government in its quest to cover up its failures, had pushed some of the them (students) to one NGO called Better Ghana Management Services where those engaged as Health Promoters were being poorly treated.

According to them, the allowances given to them could not even cater for their transportation and accommodation problems.

“We want to make our position to government that within 21 days if nothing is done about our posting, we will hit the streets with demonstration continuously”.

However, when contacted by Savannahnews, the Principal of the Tamale School of Hygiene, Alfred Assibi admitted the problem and described it as a “serious one”.

He explained that the School of Hygiene and the Ministry of Health could do very little about the problem since it was the sole responsibility of the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry to handle the posting of the students.

According to Mr. Assibi, the Management of the School was very uncomfortable about the issue and entreated the graduates to exercise restraint while the Management continued to liaise with the Local Government Ministry for results.

The Principal noted that, the backlog of graduates from the School had made it extremely difficult for management to admit new students and he however hinted that his administration was now compelled to cut down admission into the school until something positive was heard from the Ministry of Local Government.

Mr. Assibi noted that he had personally made several contacts at the Ministry of Local Government but the response always remained that the Ministry was waiting for clearance from the Finance Ministry.

Meanwhile, a deep throat source at the Tamale School of Hygiene hinted Savannahnews that management had decided to stop admission into the School in the next academic years until the problem was resolved. On the other hand, the decision according to the source had also become necessary in the face of the poor and inadequate infrastructural development in the school.

However, attempts by Savannahnews to get in touch with the Human Resource Department of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ascertain what was withholding the posting of the students for almost three years, now proved unsuccessful.

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