Health News of Monday, 26 November 2012
The lack of classroom infrastructure has prevented the Atibie Midwifery/Health Assistant Training School from advertising for intake of students for the Health Assistant Course (HAC) programme for two years now.
Mrs Paulina Osabutey, Principal of the School, who announced this at the Matriculation ceremony of the Institute at the weekend, said several attempts and appeals to the various District and Municipal Assemblies, especially in the Kwahu Area, did not yield the desired result.
“As a result of the severe shortage of classroom infrastructure, five groups of students comprising three batches of Registered Midwifery students and two batches of the Post basic Midwifery students struggle continually in an uncomfortable rotational arrangement to use the limited classrooms available for teaching and learning”.
She indicated that another academic year, 2013/2014, loomed ahead and there were no indications that classroom blocks would be available for use by students.
Mrs Osabutey said the implications of that would be the school’s inability to reopen admissions for the HAC programme and also to limit intake of students for existing programmes.
She, therefore, appealed to the Kwahu East, West and North assemblies to pool resources together to build at least a three-unit classroom facility that could accommodate up to 300 students in total.
“By so doing, these assemblies would not only be helping the school to enhance its infrastructure base for improved academic work, but would more importantly be creating opportunities for the youth in the Kwahu Area and Ghana at large to acquire professional employable skills that would enable them contribute their quota more meaningfully towards the development of the country”.
Mrs Osabutey also expressed worry about the complete lack of backup power plant for use in the school when power from the main National Grid goes off.
She said the school currently did not have any source of power anytime power went off, especially in the nights.
Mrs Osabutey noted that apart from the serious inconvenience the situation posed to staff and students, it also had severe security implications for a predominantly female school.
She therefore challenged the Government, through the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services and the Ministry of Health, the Municipal and District assemblies, especially those of Kwahu origin, Kwahu philanthropists and businessmen to support the school. “We cannot be seeking academic excellence if teaching and learning has to be interrupted anytime the National Grid goes off, as it is presently the case with the ongoing load shedding exercise”.
The Principal also lamented over the lack of decent accommodation units to house both the teaching and the non-teaching staff of the school.
She noted that the quality of a school’s curriculum and its academic worth depended largely on the availability of the required numbers of qualified tutors to mentor students and take them through the prescribed syllabus and training regimen.
“The lack of decent accommodation units, in our particular circumstances, serves as disincentive to productivity, as the few teachers we have, are compelled to make do with all kinds of accommodation units which largely do not befit their status.
“Moreover the school is unable to attract other qualified tutors, especially the young graduates because it does not have enough decent accommodation facilities to use as bait for them to accept postings to the school”, she added.
Mrs Osabutey charged the matriculants to be of good character, avoid bad behaviour and habits and to be associated with only what was good.
She challenged them to pay particular attention to their studies and take it seriously in order to make the grades, reminding them that they would be withdrawn from the school if they failed to make the required grades.
In all, the school admitted 130 students made up of 59 for Registered Midwifery and 71 for post basic Midwifery.