Fear Looms Kaduna State University Over Non-Accreditation

Fear Looms Kaduna State University Over Non-Accreditation :

This is not the best of times at the Kaduna State University, Kaduna. Uneasy calm has enveloped the entire campus. Even as the medical students continue to burn the proverbial candles in the efforts to graduate in flying colours, uncertainty reigns over whether they would graduate at all despite the hard labour. The non-accreditation of the clinical stages of the Faculty of Medicine of the Kaduna State University (KASU) by the National University Commission (NUC) and the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council (NMDC) is causing serious anxiety among the medical students of the university and their parents.

This anomaly is already fuelling agitations by the medical students for possible transfer to accredited medical schools in other universities to enable them  go through the clinical stages of the course so as stop further waste of time and resources in the school.
THISDAY findings reveal that presently, the university has five sets of medical students with two sets already stranded in 300 level
without the compulsory clinical training due to lack of accreditation by the NMDC. Those in 300 level have spent five years in the school already with an uncertain future occasioned by the delay.

Lamenting the situation, the students said their parents were not finding it easy to continue to sponsor them as a result of the
difficult economic situation. They expressed fears that from the situation of things they might spend 10 years instead of the mandatory six years prescribed for the study of the course.

It was learnt that the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, Kaduna, which is supposed to serve as a teaching hospital for the medical students of the university was still undergoing some renovation and reconstruction work, hence the delay in the accreditation by the
medical council.

Some of the students who visited THISDAY office in Kaduna over the issue  and who pleaded that their names should not be mentioned lamented that they were not even sure when they would graduate from the school as a result of the unnecessary delay.
They disclosed that, already they had spent five years and still in 300 level and are likely to spend between three to four or even more years in the school unless the issue is resolved in good time.

They claimed that they had met the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Barnabas Qurix over the issue, adding that although he assured them that steps were being taken to secure the accreditation, nothing seems to be happening to suggest that the  Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital would soon be ready for the accreditation.

They disclosed that when they met with the Vice Chancellor, he told them that the university would invite the accreditation team as soon as the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital was ready.

“We had requested for transfer to other universities just as it is the practice with institutions whose clinical stages are not
accredited. The vice chancellor told us that he wrote the authorities of the Bayero University Kano (BUK), to transfer us there, but he said the university replied that they don’t have the facilities to accommodate us,” a spokesman of the medical students told THISDAY.

Continuing further, he added: “The vice chancellor promised to explore other available options but up till now we have not heard anything.”

The students noted that; “When Osun State University was faced with the same situation, its students were sent to Ladoke Akintola University for their clinical training”, adding that some states even sponsor their students abroad.

“We are in our 300 level but we have spent five years in the university. We were admitted during the 2009/2010 academic session. As
we speak with you, the session we are running is 2011/2012 academic session. If not for the recent ASUU strike, our colleagues in other universities would have graduated.

“What we are seeking for is transfer to other universities because we have waited for so long. We appeal to the state government to transfer us to other accredited schools within or outside the country so that we can complete our studies.

“We are going to spend more time at the teaching hospital because that is what is required for the accreditation. We don’t know whether a partial accreditation will be given so that we can start our clinical at the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital in Kaduna,” the representative stated.

Some of the students said they were studying  other courses in other universities before they heard that KASU runs  programmes in
medicine and decided to apply, adding that  their mates in their old course mates in  the former  universities had since  completed their studies and passed out from the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC).

“Our families are looking up to us, they are spending too much money on us and some of us are struggling to sponsor ourselves. The time we are wasting in school is weighing so much on us and our parents. It is a thing of serious concern for us because things are getting very difficult for us and our parents.

“Our parents are expecting that we will graduate in time so that they  would be relieved of the burden they are going through but from the look of things we are going to spend some 10 years in this school studying medicine.

“We were admitted in 2009 and we would have been thinking of graduating by 2016 because we know that in the medical school, in clinical especially, the level is more than a year.

“But as it is now, we are still in 300 levels having spent five years in the university. So if we are to get accreditation now and without
any problems in the clinical studies, then we will graduate in 2017.

The danger there is that it may even exceed 2017″ the students said. But reacting to the issue in an interview with THISDAY in his
office, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Barnabas Qurix said the challenges facing the university were moving its medical
students to the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital.

Qurix said: “For the past two years, we have been trying to ensure that the renovation and construction work at the hospital is completed.
Although government has pumped in money to reconstruct the hospital, occasionally, the contractors handling the jobs disappointed us, so the process drags on, but recently the process had been advancing rapidly and I makebold to say that the renovation work are almost 80 percent complete and the hospital is even planning to open in the next three weeks or there about and once that happens, we will be in a position to invite the Nigerian Dental and Medical Council for accreditation.

“Already, the state government has given us the money to pay for the necessary statutory charges for this invitation. So we are actually
set and we are good to go, any moment from now we will invite them to come and see.

“Until we have the accreditation by the Nigerian Dental and Medical Council, we cannot go for clinical training” he explained.

He disclosed that this year, the university had to reduce its intake of students for medicine to just 23 students to avoid having too many

“So if the hospital opens in three weeks as I said earlier, it is just  a matter of weeks, we will invite the Nigerian Dental and Medical
Council to come, and from the kind of facilities we have, we are surely going to make the accreditation,” the vice chancellor promised.
However, as the students eagerly await the visit of the accreditation team from NDMC, uneasy calm reigns at the faculty and by extension, Kaduna State University.

Source: ThisDay Newspaper

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