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General News of Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Agric students boycott school to protest restoration of allowances

Authorities of the Kwadaso College of Agriculture (KAC) has bemoaned the decision by the student’s body to boycott lectures to mount pressure on government trainee allowances.

The students have since last Friday boycotted lectures with most of leaving school thus throwing off the school calendar.

The management of the school have expressed concern that the boycott will affect the academic calendar.

The school management wondered why the schools programmes of the year should suffer when management had nothing to do with the issue at hand and believed that the students could have still remained on campus and attend lectures while fighting for the issue to be addressed.

The Vice Principal of the college, Mr Bright Akoto said he was surprised at the decision of the students to embark on this ‘strike’ as it “will throw the entire academic calendar out of gear because we have programmed the semester such that before December 25th, we should end the semester.”

“Now that they are not in school, we are only praying that they should come as early as possible so that we can finish with the lectures, organise the lectures and end up the semester,” he said.

However, he said if they were unable to come then, “we will have to talk to University of Cape Coast for advice since we are under them.”

According to him, this was the first time such an issue was happening and the school had no precedence to fall on.

However, he said the strike was not peculiar to Kwadaso alone but to all agricultural colleges nationwide.

A visit to the campus saw the entire place empty with the exception of a few students. Most of them are said to have gone home with the few remaining only there “because they have some animals there that they are attending to or have personal things to do on campus”

In an interview with National President of the Agriculture College Students Union (AGSU), Mr. Sampson Chimbur Sananka, said the students have no intention of returning to campus any moment soon until the body hears a favourable news from the government.

He said it would be better for students to stay home than to go back to the campuses since “even when we complete school, there is no job anywhere for us to do.”

According to him, the students of the agriculture colleges paid for almost everything, from school fees to practical and it was the allowance that “ was cushioning most of the students and now you have cancelled that and it is not as if when we complete there are jobs waiting for us.

“Currently, there is no hope for students of agriculture colleges, so we are waiting for the government if it thinks our services are needed, it should respond to our demands,” he said.

Students from all the five agriculture colleges nationwide last week picketed at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to protest the government delay in restoring the trainee allowance.

The students also warned of boycotting lectures if the government failed to respond positively to their demands.

In a letter signed by the National President and copied to the all principals of the various colleges, the students informed the schools authorities of their intention to embark on the indefinite boycott of academic work and other activities and asked for the cooperation from management.

A final year student of KAC, Ebenezer Asiedu Ntow, told the Daily Graphic that for some of them, without the allowance, “we will not be able to write the semester exams so we might as well stay at home.”

According to him, the allowance helped them to pay their school fees and undertake their practical project works.

He said as part of the course requirements, students were supposed to undertake projects that would be beneficial to society and without the allowance, some of them would not be in position to do that.

He thus called on the government to as a matter of urgency restore the trainee allowance to enable some of them to complete their course and also contribute their quota to national development.