In the heat of a passionate demand by the Ghanaian to have the nation fixed, it appears the woes of our country’s educational atmosphere does not seem to be ending soon, even as the #FixTheCountry agenda is yet to find a place for its feet to squarely tackle issues of the economy and corruption with a pinch of exchange of sex for grades at different levels of our educational structure; a somewhat déjà vu trick has resurfaced.
A few years after the ‘sex for grades’, brouhaha died down, we are hit by yet another very worrying humiliation which we must deal with collectively as a nation with the help of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Ghana Education Service (GES), the West African Examination Council ( WAEC) without delay.
Unfortunately this time around it appears to unearth the very roots of rampant cases of incompetence among medical officers, leading to life threatening medical negligence, and quack health physicians flooding all corners of our nation, and our healthcare establishments.
It is an undeniable fact that our health sector does not only require infrastructural expansion but it also needs qualified and competent individuals to take good professional care of the Ghanaian populace to boost economic growth; for health is wealth.
However, with the perpetual rising cases of medical malpractices, negligence on the part of nurses, doctors, physician assistants; among others it calls for worry if the training and graduation of these ‘live- saving’ professionals is characterized by ‘cooked’ and false academic grades.
And it is sad to note that the latter is purportedly facilitated by officials of a renowned the West African Examination body – WAEC and managers of nursing training colleges across the country.
The genesis of it all is when the unsuspecting public are enticed with very flexible admission requirements into certain private tertiary schools and colleges which include some nursing training institutions. Senior high school students and their parents are told of the possibility to gain admission for their wards with even the worse WASSCE grades and they would be given the opportunity to improve their grades in-between the period of their nursing course; that sounds somewhat great but this is not exactly so.
Now, upon reaching the final academic year without the pass mark students are now faced with ineligibility to register for their nursing licensure examination; and then another mouthwatering alternative is offered them – ‘cash for grades.
This is where the nursing college managers and supposed WAEC officials connive to sell genuine grades of students to their ‘student-clients’ who have similar names, and then advice that they swear an affidavit to cover up their actual names and then ‘steal’ the names of the real owners of the ‘stolen’ genuine grades to make it possible for the ‘grades buyer’ to use the ‘bought grades’ to take the licensure examination.
According to a reliable source at Neuman College of Nursing in Kumasi, all of this shady procedures for grades are offered at a fee of not less than GHc3,000.00; according to a witness who could not deny this arrangement his wife (named Hannah Addai, for the purposes of this matter) has been identified as per our findings as a member of the Patriotic Health Team of the ruling NPP, and a final year general nursing student of the above – not Kumasi based nursing training college who has successfully bought WASSCE grades with the involvement of her college director, her guardians and a WAEC official.
With this corrupt culture brewing in our academic institutions, with the participation of our young learners and their parents/guardians, Ghana and its citizenry must not only be worried about the crop of unqualified professionals we are putting out there to ‘kill’ innocent and unsuspecting citizens but should also bow their heads down in shame and guilt with ‘blood stained hands’.
Nonetheless, remedial steps ought to be taken immediately to save the already scary situation by conducting a proper audit of grades and licenses issued to these corrupt and incompetent health officials, as well as screen ongoing examination candidates of the recent past and impending licensure examinations in our country, for enough is enough.
Miss Linda Asamoah
+233 24 083 2274