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Regional News of Monday, 6 November 2017


Agric students back to class after assurances over allowance payment

Students of the five Colleges of Agric have called off their three-week-old boycott of lectures after receiving assurances from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture that they will be paid the allowances soon.

The students had deserted their classrooms earlier in October, in protest of the failure by government to restore their allowances.

Prior to that, they had besieged the premises of the Agric Ministry in Accra over their grievances.

The Ministry of Agriculture had earlier announced that, it had tabled the request from the students for the restoration of the allowances before Cabinet.

But the students had expressed discontent with the Ministry after there were no further updates of a possible restoration of the allowances, forcing the students to ditch their classes in an attempt to compel the government to act. It appears their move has been successful, after they received assurances from the Agric Ministry that talks had been held with the Ministry of Finance on the restoration of the allowances.

According to the President of the Agricultural Colleges Students Union, Samson Chimbur Sanika, officials of the Ministry had informed them about the latest developments and assured them that an announcement would be made after the students return to their classrooms.

“We the five agricultural colleges have been engaging the Ministry of Agric to come clear to address the issues because academics is very important to the students. We were saying that it’s wrong for students to stay at home. We had meetings with them and they’ve shown us that they are coming to pay the allowances. They’ve had meetings with the Ministry of Finance and shown us the documents. He has agreed clearly to pay us,” he told Citi News.

“We can’t be at home to take the money so we must report back and they’ll start the due process as soon as possible, so we should get the students back to the campus and then they’ll come clear. I know that they must pay us and they will, based on what they are telling me.”

‘Agric students being disregarded’

The President of the Kwadaso Agric College’s Students Representative Council (SRC), Stanley Mensah, stated at the time of the boycott that, the action had become necessary because of the apparent disregard for Agric students across the country by the government.

He insisted that, despite the negative implications of their boycott, they were justified in their demands, as unlike the nurses and teachers, they weren’t guaranteed jobs and needed the allowances to survive.

“We think that either somebody is not being fair or something is wrong somewhere. That is why we believe that all the students have to come together, leave the premises of the school until the Ministry is done with the processes to get our allowances for us. We are not being treated fairly, and are not being regarded in the country, so there’s no need for us to be on campus. We took our books and our items, and vacated the premises of the school. As we speak, if you go to Damongo, Kwadaso or any college in Tamale, the schools are virtually empty and nobody’s there,” he told Citi News.