The Ho School of Hygiene is in a deplorable state because of lack of infrastructure; its management is, therefore, calling for urgent attention.
The school, which has been in existence for the past 42 years with a student population of 300, cannot boast of its own facilities such as classrooms, library, auditorium, staff room, boarding houses, among others to befit the status of an institution that trains environmental health officers in the country.
A tour of the school by government officials led by the Deputy Minister of Water Resource and Sanitation, Mr Michael Gyato, and the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Maxwell Blagogee, exposed harsh conditions the students were enduring in the school.
The rented hostels for both the males and females were an eyesore, especially with the boys hostel where more than 10 students share a room instead of the normal four people per room.
Some of the students currently sleep on the bare floor because of lack of space to put their mattresses.
Addressing the entourage, the Principal of the institution, Mr Edward Kofi Fudzi, said the school deserved a better structure because it was training officers whose responsibility was vital to the achievement of the sustainable development goals on sanitation.
School without structures
“We have been in existence since 1975 and we do not have any structure of our own as a school. Since the school was started, we have been occupying an old malaria research centre.
“The unfortunate aspect is that students in Diploma Two are occupying a private wood processing structure. This does not befit an institution like this,” he lamented.
According to him, the school had a 100 acre plot of land available for development but since nothing was being done on it, people were encroaching on the land.
He informed the ministers that the past government started a two-storey 12-unit classroom construction but it had come to a halt due to huge debts.
Mr Fudzi, therefore, appealed on behalf of the contractor to be paid for the project to continue, and added that the school was also in need of a school bus.
GETFund to help
Responding to some of the issues raised by the school, Mr Gyato, who was on a fact-finding mission on the school and the sanitary condition of the region, said he was saddened by the poor condition of the school and admitted that it needed urgent support.
The ministry, he said, would appeal to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to release some resources to complete the project, as well as get the teachers a staff bungalow.
Mr Gyato observed that the country was in dire need of environmental health officers to address the issue of sanitation that had engulfed the country.
Agenda to make Ghana cleanest
Mr Gyato stressed that armchair environmental health officers would be “chased out of the offices to go and work” because they had to make themselves relevant as their work required them to be on the field.
He asked the students to be prepared to work when they were posted because “we don’t want office staff but field staff”.
The sanitation industry, he said, had huge potential aside from cocoa and gold as waste could be used to create wealth, such as using it for compost or recycled waste.
He, therefore, urged the students to ensure that they took advantage of all opportunities available to them.