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Bagabaga College in Serious Crisis

2007-05-15 12:39:26
This article has been read 2877 times.

IN THE face of the bold decision by Ghana government and its international partners to secure 50% admission for females in all learning institutions so as to mend the protracted education disparity between males and females in the country, some institutions in Ghana especially in the Northern Region are virtually handicapped in providing the requisite level playing field for both sexes.

After 50 good years of independence, most Ghanaian learning institutions including tertiary institutions are still below standard and incapable of providing the needed facilities for students.

Investigations by our Northern Regional Bureau have indicated that the Bagabaga Teachers’ Training College (BATCO) in Tamale, which is one of the leading colleges in Ghana, might not be able to admit fresh female students in the coming academic years, as a result of non-availability of infrastructure and other facilities.

Although the authorities of the college have no resources, they are now required to use their own means to secure special and comfortable accommodation and also guarantee the security of the female students within the next four months before fresh admissions can be made.

Meanwhile, BATCO is the first and leading Science Teacher Training College in Ghana with about 800-student population, but The Chronicle can authoritatively say that the college is about to lose its pedigree and integrity since most students are now being refused admission into the college.

After almost 64 years of its establishment, BATCO has not seen any meaningful rehabilitation, thereby putting the college in a bad state. Most of the structures, mainly designed in traditional northern round house styles can be described as “death traps” as about 75% of them are developing deep cracks on the walls.

Out of the total student strength of about 800, the college has been able to admit only 172 females as a result of inadequate facilities.

Like “sardines in a tin”, about 144 females have been packed into a small dormitory which was supposed to accommodate only 56 students, which is causing serious congestion and discomfort.

Some members of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the college complained about the frequent outbreak of airborne diseases at the female dormitory.

The Principal of BATCO, Alhaji Adam Zakaria in an interview, confirmed that the college authorities had decided not to admit female students this year, since the only dormitory had almost collapsed. According to him, the problem had been there for years before he took over.

Because the College had no resources to improve on infrastructural development, he had personally written to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports since his appointment as Principal of the college, but had since not received any reply.

“Since the school has made several appeals and nothing positive is coming our way, it may be prudent for the college authority to stop admitting female students till the problem is solved. This is going to be very unfortunate and a big blow to this college, because it is going to thwart the government policy of ensuring 50% admission for female students in every college,” he said.

The Chronicle gathered in its investigations that BATCO needed special government attention to redeem its image and to ensure that well trained teachers are produced for this country. The college’s main administration block is very old, weak and far below standard.

The dining hall which was built for the college at the time its population was sixteen, 64 years ago, is yet to be expanded. Making the bad situation worse, the recent Tamale rainstorm on April 21, 2007 hit the administration block and destroyed a lot of books and computers.

During the rainy seasons, apart from the leaking roofs of the classrooms, the school campus becomes inaccessible for students due to the untarred nature of the roads connecting the campus to the dormitories, lecture halls and other departments.

According to our investigations, the Bimbilla Teachers Training College (BIMCO) is capitalizing on the misfortunes of BATCO to admit most of their students.

Meanwhile, other individuals and estate developers were spotted encroaching on lands of the college by this paper. According to the developers, the plots were sold to them by the Chief of the area (name withheld).

The BATCO Principal, Alhaji Zakaria passionately appealed to the officials of the GETfund to quickly direct attention to the college to salvage the situation.

He however complained about delay in payment of student allowances and provision of food items. The school authorities have not received feeding components for even February 2007 at the time of filing this report.

The Principal called on the Northern Parliamentary Caucus to also intervene for the college to recapture its past glory.

source: Chronicle

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