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Opinions of Friday, 6 November 2009

Columnist: Akalaare, Maxwell Adombila

Frustrations Of Applicants, GES act now!

Of late, senior high school leavers nationwide have come to patronize the country’s nursing training college (NTC) so much that, the institutions seem to have taken advantage of this mad rush and its related difficulties to exploit applicants

Almost every senior high school leaver in one way or the other aspires to enter NTC in other to realize what is fast becoming a ‘ day dream ‘. To some, it is only a stepping stone for them to spring up into their real careers in life. Others however, think they have been called to heal the sick. This in itself is not surprising due to the various incentives that await them whiles they are students and the subsequent job assurances which comes alongside motivational packages that are lacking in most sectors of Ghana’s job market.

The institutions concerned- the NTCs and other tertiary institutions having realized the craving and crazy demands for their so called hot cake have kept in place wild measures to the disadvantage of these poor applicants.

One has to attend and pass an interview, the fairness and transparency of which I should think still remain a doubt and of course, remain uncertain and undecided after universities and teacher training colleges have released their admissions. Due to the keen competition in getting admissions into the country's tertiary institutions for reasons beyond the length of this article, most students have resorted to the idea of multiple admission form purchasing.

As a result, applicants who buy university and or other training college admission are normally faced with choosing to forgone an admission at hand to await and earnestly hope for favorable results or the other way round.But this in itself is not easy handling since most are often victims and would rather be careful this time round.

It is at this time that, other tertiary institutions in the country particularly the late admission re leasers, pray to take advantage of. Due to the non-refundable nature of the admission fees in the countries institutions which to me is questionable, a lot of applicants end up paying monies to institutions they will not attend. This is normally the case were the student's preferred institutions grants him\her admission to pursue a course of ones choice. Some, due to meager finance which is fast becoming a normality, will have to forgo the admissions received earlier while they wait for their second fate to be decided by the other institutions. Most of these students end up wailing with hands on heads with the usual ‘had I known’ which may demand a concluding part like ‘leads to the Island of no return’’

The others may be the lucky ones will then have to gather courage and vigor to forgo the earlier admissions received.With hopes and faith chocked to their neck, they will embark on a massive week after week fasting and praying for the second release, which is mostly from these professional institutions (Nursing / Teacher Training Colleges, Ghana Institute of Journalism– GIJ ) to be favorable.

These practices frustrate and traumatize students a lot and end up heaping large sums of money into the accounts of these institutions. The end destination and final usage of those monies still remains a mystery. Or, is it accounted for by government? What if the principal, chancellor or rector of an institution after unanimous decision has been reached from management, decides to say that, they did not record such an incident? I mean fees paid without students attending the said institution? If no, are those monies used judiciously to the benefit of these schools? May be we should channel these questions to our able Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, or better still the Public Accounts committee (PAC) can add it to their agenda. For we are actually keen in knowing These acts of robbing students, mostly unemployed to pay government resource institutions is unfair. It has existed for long and must be solved immediately. Not the usual pen and paper solution which end up in the already congested offices of these seemingly insensitive offices.

A good measure will be a coincident release of admission letters. This can be made possible if institutions with longer admission procedures - applicants sitting for interim exam and (or) attending an interview, are made to start earlier than others. This may call for directives from GES to help break the existing autonomy of these institutions to admit at their own convenience. The admission fees can also be made refundable to enable students who may get admissions into a school of their choice and preference take back the money paid into other institutions.

I am of the opinion that, Ghana Education Service is conscious of these inconveniences in the system. They, including other concerned stakeholders should therefore act fast to correct what I may be tempted to describe as ‘a well coordinated and intentional machinery’ to rob students of their meager incomes. And on top frustrate and disappoint the tender minds of applicants. A practical measure towards the immediate and practical correction of this ever-existed problem will help buttress The Mills-led Administration's intention of giving much attention to education.It will become a justifier to the "I care for you" mania that was released on January 7 that will be remembered and rehearsed by all especially the innocent victims.

Well, I’m only among the many that are crying loud for the correction of this ‘master minder’ for the benefit of all and beloved Ghana as well. But until this is done, victims of the said incident will continue to rain curses on these institutions and the possible beneficiaries of the booties. The end result, I cannot tell!

By Maxwell Adombila Akalaare