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Photos: School of Hygiene Protest to Demand ‘Alawa’

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Students from the three Schools of Hygiene (SoH) yesterday, stormed the streets to protest non-payment of their allowances.

According to them, they appear to have been removed from the allowance scheme entitled to all health trainees.

Speaking to the President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Accra SoH, Samuel Agyiri, he said the present government had promised to fully restore their allowance when they come into power but till date, nothing has been heard from their enclave.

“From time immemorial, we have been part of this allowance scheme…this is not the first time…when the past government gave us the table top 150, we received it…but we don’t know why the present government hasn’t given ours to us and that’s why we are embarking on this demonstration,” he said.

Mr. Micheal Gyato arriving at the demonstration scene
Mr. Micheal Gyato arriving at the demonstration scene

The picture unfolding

According to the SRC president, the last time they received payments from the government was in 2016 after the scheme was scraped by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) and restored by the same government before their exit.

However, they had once again been asked to go through the process required for the disbursement of the allowance which they respectfully did but it looked like their efforts were simply a waste of time.

He said; “We have gone through all the processes and requirements like the nurses have done…we have submitted our valid accounts numbers, e-zwich and national health insurance…waiting for our allowance to come but we’ve seen nothing.”

Shift to Sanitation Ministry Changes Nothing

The SoH after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) resumed office, was moved from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MoSWR) but the students where emphatic that the move does not change their statuses as health professionals.

“The fact that we have been transferred to that ministry doesn’t change our profession. We are still allied health professionals, we are still environmental health professionals,” Samuel Agyiri said.

The Demo

In Accra, the protest took place early Tuesday morning and students were seen converging on the “Obra Spot” premises at Circle amidst chanting, singing and drumming.

They were also cladded in red head and wrists bands and holding Placards with various inscriptions like “Nana, why have you forgotten SoH?”

Police Threatens Students

The journey to MoSWR was however truncated as police officers warned that only 30 students could be allowed to extend the protest to the ministry.

The students’ objection to that call warranted threats from the police that they would spray tear gas on them if they do not adhere to the instructions.

According to a student on sight, a police officer by name Kwesi Ofori said he would use the tear gas on them while another officer, Kwasi Kumashi said he would “crush them”.

Deputy Minister speaks

The Deputy Minister of MoSWR, Mr. Michael Gyato met the students at the old Hearts of Oak Old Park which is located close to the Accra Arts Centre.

He promised to relay the message to the Minister.

The demonstration took place at Tamale, Ho and Accra where the schools were located.

Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

 

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