The fate of over 70 referred students of the Health Assistants Nursing Training School at Asankragwa in the Western Region hang in the balance as the Principal of the school has allegedly refused to register them to write the upcoming Health Assistants Clinical Licentia examination scheduled for June, 2013.
It is alleged that several appeals by parents, pastors, chiefs and government officials in the area to the principal to have those students registered have all fallen on deaf ears.
A source close to the school’s administration anonymously told DAILY GUIDE that the Principal, Jemima Fati Ackon, was refusing to register those students some of whom completed in 2010, 2011 and 2012 because she felt they were still academically weak in the subjects they were referred in and needed adequate preparation.
“Though some of the referred students have been duly registered, it will be an indictment on the academic integrity of the school if she registers those other 70 referred students because they are academically weak and need further preparation,” the source said.
The source also made it clear the Principal and the Academic Officer, Patience Asare, have since Friday left the school, while the 70 students who wanted to be registered are left stranded.
When DAILY GUIDE contacted the Principal, Mrs Ackon on phone she declined to give details as to why she refused to register some of the students and that she had referred the matter to the Ghana Health Service and the Acting Western Regional Director of Health Services.
“I have nothing to say about the registration because I have referred everything to the Ghana Health Service and the Regional Directorate of Health Services. That is all,” she said.
Some of the students who spoke on phone to DAILY GUIDE on the other hand said they studied at home and had been on the school’s campus for some classes since March this year and would be able to write the referred papers and pass with flying colours.
When DAILY GUIDE reached the District Chief Executive of Wassa Amenfi West, Victor Samuel Meisu at Asankragwa about the “impasse”, he said he called the Principal to come to his office so that the two of them could find a possible solution to the issue, but she refused to turn up.
The DCE said he had since two days tried to get in touch with the Principal, but she was not in the school and could not be reached on phone because she had switched off her phone.
“I don’t understand why the Principal is behaving so even to me.
I have assured the students that everything will be resolved and advised them to remain calm in the school,” DCE Meisu said.
Some of the students who spoke to DAILY GUIDE on phone said they were past students of the school who were referred in some papers after their final examinations in 2010, 2011 and 2012 so they came to do some classes in order to re-write those papers.
They said the Principal made them understand they would write three mock examinations, but after the first mock examination, she told them that those who had below 60 percent would not be registered, to which the students protested.
A second mock examination was written and the tutors marked them but the two marked papers were not distributed to them to verify whether they had the required 60 percent, only for the Principal to call certain students and have them registered leaving about 70 students she insisted she would not register.
“The principal and the academic officer will neither give us our papers to verify our marks nor register us for the exams though on the school notice board registration ends on 19th April 2013. Whether we pass or fail, that is our future, so we must be registered. It is our right,” a spokesperson for the students stressed.
When the Acting Western Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Kwaku Anin Karikari was contacted he said the Principal had written to his outfit about the issue, but could not give the details offhand as he was not in the office by then.
He pointed out that in order not to jeopardize the future of the referred health assistants, some Principals usually screened them before writing their referred papers adding “if a referred student fails thrice he or she has no chance of writing the exams again, so the situation is sometimes serious”.
Some parents from the Asankragwa and Bowdie whom DAILY GUIDE spoke with alleged the Principal was very rude to them and scolded them with unprintable words when they called at her office to plead with her to have their children registered.
Meanwhile, the students have appealed to the government through the District Chief Executive to ensure the Principal and the Academic Officer return to the school to get them (students) registered.
From Sam Mark Essien, Takoradi