Pong-Tamale Animal Health College students use trees as Assembly hall

Trees closer to the volley court of the Pong-Tamale Animal Health and Production College in the Savelugu municipality of the Northern Region serves as an Assembly Hall of the college due to lack of Assembly Hall and infrastructure since 1960 of its establishment.

Student Representative Council of the college is passionately calling on government through Ministry of Food and Agriculture to give the college a facelift that will meet international standards.

Students of the college in a sad mood told TV3’s Upper East regional correspondent Tanko Mohammed Rabiu how infrastructural deficit in the college is affecting teaching and learning.

Pong- Tamale Animal health and production college formerly Pong Tamale Veterinary college was rebirthed in 1960 after its original establishment in 1922 by the British Colonial administration which was closed down due to funding shortfalls.

The institution is the first animal health and production college in West Africa aimed at increasing the health of livestock in West Africa.

There is pressure on existing infrastructure in the college due to student population of 682.

There is virtually overcrowding in all the facilities in the college namely, hostels, dinning hall and lecture halls.

The college uses a lecture hall with a capacity of about fifty students as a common Hall. Students and staff now meet in the open under trees for most of the social events.

TV3 news observed one of such gatherings during the college’s SRC week celebrations launch under trees close to the volley court.

Female students have only one hostel accommodating close to 200 students in crowded rooms. The rooms are supposed to accommodate eight to ten students but about 15 to 22 students resides in each of the limited rooms in the hostel.

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Due to scarcity of water in the college, each student is compelled to store water in these yellow containers.

“Anytime it rains, the rooms gets full with water from leaking roofs the wooden ceilings are rotten as a result of the leakage”, a student said.

The Women’s Commissioner, Zakari Asamawu said they live under harsh conditions at the hostel.

Another female student spoke to our news team on their challenges.

” We are overcrowded in this small space and our belongings also compete with us for space. The government should extend a hand of help to us in order to reduce these challenges” she said.

” The water and toilet situation in our hostels too is a challenge, can you imagine we have only few toilet facilities and is even broken down. Most of us are compelled to use the free range” another student shared her frustrations.

Female students practice open defecation behind the hostel due to inadequate toilet facilities.

The situation at the male hostel is not different from the female hostel. Though the male students have three hostels, the rooms are still crowded with students.

Electrical installations in the rooms have been disconnected leaving some wires and bulbs to hang posing danger to students.

Mayaang Donatus, a male student appealed for more infrastructure in the college.

At the launch of the College’s student representative council week celebrations at the “tree” converted Assembly hall, the SRC president Benni Lazarus called on government to immediately give the college a facelift in order to rescue students from hash conditions.

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The Principal of the College, Dr. Eric Obeng Bempong encouraged students to take their studies with much passion and seriousness so as to achieve what has brought them to the college. He commended the student representative council for uniting the student front and this he said has promoted peace on campus.

Some of the courses undertaken for the three year diploma and two years certificate programs are Veterinary medicine, veterinary public health, veterinary jurisprudence, meat hygiene, wildlife management and host of programs.