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Students arrest matron for lifting food

A five-member committee investigating alleged stealing of food items at Zorkor Senior High School has recommended the transfer of the matron of the school to restore peace on campus.

The committee’s report, sighted by The Chronicle, indicates its members discovered that the matron (name withheld) had a hand in the carting of food items meant for students to Bolgatanga, but the vigilance of a group of students on campus led to the interception of the items.

It will be recalled that on November 30, 2018, at about 7:00pm, a group of students numbering 14, divided themselves into groups with one policing the school matron and the other the school tricycle rider.

The group policing the matron tried to stop her as she drove out of the school but she refused and sped off.

The second group, however, was able to intercept the tricycle rider and upon inspecting the trailers of the tricycle, they found four 25 litre containers of vegetable oil, three 25 litre containers of palm oil and two mini bags (50kg) of maize, in addition to a bucket of margarine and some quantities of sugar.

The students returned the tricycle to the school and left it with the school’s watchman to watch till the following day.

After they were briefed by the students the following day about the incident, authorities of the school, led by the Headmaster, set up a five-member committee to investigate the matter and make recommendations.

The first to appear before the Emmanuel Akalari-led committee were the students. They narrated how pilfering of food in the kitchen had been a practice and that made their group to institute the measure to arrest the situation.

They added that the poor quality and insufficient quantity of food served them in the dining hall had been the main motivating factor for their action. Again, the students complained about the unhygienic nature of the kitchen.

According to the report, the issue was taken up by the two dining hall masters, who tried on several occasions to address the complaints from students on both quality and quantity of food, but the matron always gave excuses as to why the situation could not be improved.

When she was interrogated, the matron, according to the report, admitted she instructed the school’s tricycle rider to take the said food items to the school storekeeper’s house in Bolgatanga.

Her reason, as she told the committee, was that she normally gathers excess food supplied from the stores and keep them for future use by some scheduled officers and the cooks who are volunteers at the kitchen

According to the report, the watchman, cooks, dining hall masters and some teachers who appeared before the committee corroborated the position of the students that, the act of carrying food items out of the kitchen in the school’s tricycle to Bolgatanga was a practice.

When asked why she had to send the items to Bolgatanga when the people were working in the school, she said it was because most of them were staying in Bolgatanga.

The report further indicated that when the storekeeper was quizzed on the issue, he admitted some food items had been brought to his house before and those food items were meant for some people, including himself.

The reported stated: “In conclusion, it was clear that the students took the decision to police the food items supplied to the kitchen due to the poor quality of food”.

The investigations also revealed that the food items were being stolen in the view of the students, but the matron (Domestic Bursa) thought otherwise.

It also became clear through the interrogations that it was not the first time that a tricycle was being used to carry food items meant for students away from the school.”

Aside recommending the transfer of the matron, the committee also recommended that the school watchman, that is, the one assigned to the kitchen should be empowered to check and accost anyone suspected to be carrying food items away from the kitchen.

It also recommended that the student body should be commended for being vigilant and encouraged to do more.

The five-member committee finally recommended that the case should be referred to a higher authority for further action.

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