Good afternoon fellow Ghanaians,
My special greetings to the people of the Volta Region .I hope we are all hearing in the news the unfortunate issue about our prestigious University.
As a region that was not having a state funded University at the time,it was of a great headache to us all then the good news was brought by Former President Prof Evans Atta Mills(of blessed memory) and today we are all happy and can boast of UHAS in our regional capital Ho and its affiliate in Hohoe and we are expectant of other affiliates in other parts of the region in the near future.
As a country that has been governed by law,Our prestigious Volta University, UHAS l must say was established by an Act of Parliament(Act 828, 2011) with the sole aim of providing higher education in health sciences,constructing and disseminating knowledge acquired to the needs and aspirations of Ghanaians.
On that note therefore,it is highly prudent for all the necessary stakeholders of the University to work assiduously in order to give policy directions towards ensuring high standards in academic output and giving graduates from this university a distinctive mark solely associated with the University of Health and Allied Sciences so as to make it draw more students who will like to pursue science related courses in future irrespective of their regions.
It will be unfair on my part,to touch on the substantive issue without first congratulating the newly inaugurated Council of the University and on that note therefore,l cease this opportune moment to congratulate the newly inaugurated Council of UHAS under the chairmanship of a renowned son of the region and an astute judge in person of Justice Dotse.
l wish the entire council membership,the best in the discharge of their mandate.
The current development at the UHAS,School Of Nursing and Midwifery between their leadership headed by the Dean and those who completed from there and graduated this July concerning writing of their licensing exam is very worrying.
l am of the view that, something seriously must be done about this because it is trying to cause serious disaffection for the University within those who found themselves in the School Of Nursing and Midwifery based on findings gathered so far.
We all know that,University calendar in Ghana is 4 years and this is public knowledge so what then is happening as far as UHAS-SONAM is concerned?Is anybody trying to abuse power there against laid down procedures?Is UHAS the only Public University pursuing degree in Nursing,Midwifery and Public Health?Why would students who found themselves there be made to do more years in disguise?Is communication between the students and their leadership headed by the Dean effective?Is the democratic right of the students under abuse?Is anybody trying to make money from the innocent students?Are laid down rules violated?I seriously need answers to the above questions to clear my doubts as far as this entire issue is concerned.
I hope you are all wondering what at all the issues are?The Dean of UHAS,School of Nursing and Midwifery and those who graduated from there this year July are at logger heads due to what they think was unfair treatment meted out to them by their leadership headed by the Dean.
The same thing according to them was done to their seniors last year and repeating itself this year and this l think should not continue because it is trying to bring the name of the University into disrepute.
Those who did the courses l mentioned earlier,are all supposed to write licensing exams and that is the norm according to best practice for all health related courses in our Universities.This same licensing exam is written by Nursing Training Colleges as well.
The over 150 students of Nursing,Midwifery and Public health who graduated from the University this July were not registered by their leadership headed by the Dean to take their licensing exams prior to their completion.Why so?Is that the norm in other public Universities pursuing same courses?I beg to differ seriously,so why it is so at UHAS?This is seriously baffling my mind.
According to reports,their leadership is of the view that,the students must pass their final exams before writing the licensing exams.
l don't think anybody is against the students passing their final exams before writing the licensing exam.But the issue is why will their leadership denied them the registration prior to their completion so that when the results are out and those who have done well in all their papers can then go ahead to write the licensing exam?Is that not what is done at the other Universities and in the Nursing Training Colleges?
But with the current happening,the students will not be registered for the licensing exams until their results are in and those who pass their exams will now be registered for the licensing exams after some several months when their colleague counterparts in other institutions are long done with their licensing exams.
So what then is the norm in other Universities and Nursing Training Colleges?What l do know is that,they write their licensing exams before leaving the four walls of their various institutions.
But so shockingly,in the case of UHAS,SONAM they must come back after graduation to attend classes for several months before taking their licensing exam.
The classes they were told to pay Ghc560.How was this amount arrived at?Were the students consulted enough on it?
In reference to that,someone who completed school must come back to stay for 6months right?Who pays for their new rent, utility, transportation,feeding etc.?Are we not just putting untold hardship on parents and just punishing the students unduly?Has leadership thought of all these?
Again on the issue of money to be paid by the students thus Ghc 560 my checks from one of the Nursing Training Colleges reveals that,last year they charged Ghc150 per student for preparations towards the same licensing exams UHAS is currently charging Ghc 560 per student and we are talking about a total number of 150plus students.
Interestingly,the Nursing and Midwifery Students Association is trying to fight the system against this gruesome treatment meted out to them by their leadership headed by Dean and surprisingly they are trying to deny knowledge of the existence of such an Association when the fact remains that,they are fully aware of the said Association and its activities for a while now because and there are written records to ascertain that,an official approval was given to the Association to function.This also to me means that, something is not adding up.
I am of the view that,Justice Dotse the Council Chairman of UHAS must do something about this issue because it is seriously bringing the name of our University of prestige into disrepute and that should not be allowed to continue.
In addition,some graduates from the University are bent on discouraging their brothers and sisters who want to come there to pursue Nursing and Midwifery courses because of the treatment they were made to go through.Will this help the University to grow?Now that the graduates are angry,will they be willing to support the University in future?
This l think must be the
worry of all Ghanaians especially those from the Volta Region because UHAS must continue to grow from strength to strength.
One other annoying part of the whole issue is that,they cannot even do their national service though they graduated from the University unless they are done with your licensing exams.What a shock!Who is sabotaging the system that is making the graduates to suffocate?
Their seniors who graduated last year have not even started their national service yet.This is very worrying!
This issue must be seriously investigated by the University Council in order to bring a lasting peace there.
I think moving forward,issue of licensing exams should be the sole prerogative of Nursing and Midwifery Council so that students can register with them directly and not through their schools because in the case of UHAS,l seriously think there is an abuse of power and that is my candid opinion and l stand by it.
To conclude,we are all Ghanaians and let us make sure we abide by rules and regulations and avoid all elements of making rules too rigid for others and more importantly treat our fellow men and women rightly.
Let us be minded that,we must do our best to develop this country and make our nation great and strong.
To our regional minister, Dr.Archibald Letsa and the Volta Caucus in Parliament led by Hon Emmanuel Bedzrah,l am appealing to should do their best to assist the Council Chairman in addressing this serious matter to enable the parties understand each other.
Long Live Ghana
Long Live Volta Region
Long Live UHAS