From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi State Government has given an assurance to implement the report of the Medical School Accreditation Committee at the State University, Anyigba with a view to solving the lingering problem of none accreditation of the programme since its establishment.
Dr Ahmed Attah, the Special Adviser to Gov. Yahaya Bello on Health Matters, told Thisage in Lokoja, that the report would receive prompt attention as soon as the memo from the Ministry of Health is presented at the state Exco, stressing that the accreditation would hopefully happen this year.
On Monday, Medical Students of the University whose academic careers had been stagnated for five years according to them, stormed the school’s Senate building to protest non -accreditation of the clinical arm of Medical Education and Training.
Attah told our Correspondent that the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello had set up a committee in December 2016 to look at the processes, procedures and requirements that would hasten the Accreditation of the Medical School.
He said that the committee worked assiduously and had presented a report to the State Exco, stressing that the Governor has been very proactive towards solving the issues of non-accreditation.
He added that the Governor had also within the same period approved N10 million for 25 students who were severely stagnated to be farmed out to three Universities for them to continue their Medical Education, which includes: University of Sokoto, Ebonyi and Ondo State University of Medical Sciences.
“So, the Governor has been very passionate about this cause and has taken it as his priority to make sure that the Medical Students do not suffer more than necessary.
“Upon the presentation of the report of the committee, the Governor gave tentative approval for that committee to be transformed into the Implementation Committee.
“He also directed the Ministries of Health and Education to come up with the memo for approval of the amount needed for the implementation of the requirements as presented by the committee.
“So, hearing about the protest at the level of the University by the Medical Students, the Governor mandated the Ministry to conduct an on the spot assessment to ensure peace and quick resolutions of the areas of dispute”, Attah said.
Attah further said they held a stakeholders meeting on Thursday at the University with the Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdulkadir, members of Management of KSU and students’ representatives, saying the facts presented by Management showed that there were procedural breeches by the students the expression of their grievances.
According to him, it was cleared that the students have not been well informed. They were then asked to give verbal apologies and to further submit a written apology to the School Management.
“We believe that after the submission of the written apology, the issue of the directive by the University management asking the students to vacate the campus for two weeks would be revisited, as assured by the Vice Chancellor.
“So we are grateful that the Governor has continued to set up these very important processes of resolving crises of this magnitude.
“We believe that the information presented on Thursday to the students by the Management would bring about lasting peace in the school as regards accreditation for Medical Training and Education.
“We should be able to meet up with the November 2018 accreditation target, when the required infrastructure would have been put in place and ready for the visit of National University Commission (NUC) and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN)”, he said.
Attah, however advised the students to continue to manifest the highest level of discipline, decorum and show faith in actions of the State Government and School Management, saying “we have the students’ best interest at heart”.
He urged the students not to allow the stress and psychological trauma of the delay in their progression in the Medical School to push them into more hazardous or unhealthy actions, advising them always to be in control of their emotions and mental status.
“If they continue to adhere to high level advocacy, lobbying and fine tune those skills across the relevant Stakeholders in Government and the School Authority, we believe these actions would help prevent them from further taking steps that would worsen the current situation.
“So, we believe that these very intelligent young men and women fully understand the implications of their actions and the need for them to de-escalate and continue to take proactive steps to make sure that the right communications and procedural channels are open for us to jointly work together towards walking out of this academic crisis,” Attah said.