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|Amaechi Rssda Trade Off Students On Medicine Scholarships In Uk by ilebaami: 4:44pm On Aug 20, 2014|
Rip-off: Amaechi, RSSDA Trade Off Medical Students On Overseas Scholarship ...Give Them Marching Order To Return Without Qualification
This may sound funny and incredible but it's indisputable that what could pass for a giant leap and landmark achievement of sending a good number of Rivers youths to the United Kingdom for Special studies in Medicine through Gov Amaechi's Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) was only a goof.
Rather than registering them for the Medical Degree Programme (MBBS) for which they were awarded the scholarship to augment the few medical doctors for the numerous State health demands in the light of the newly built health centers across the State also for which millions of pounds were expended or purportedly spent, the students who are currently stranded and have been asked to return home were entered for courses other than medicine, a mistake the RSSDA accepted upon confrontation in 2012 by the State House of Assembly but subsequently kept repeating.
In the United Kingdom, students are not admitted directly for medicine after secondary education.
Prospective medical students are expected and must of necessity undergo an A-level programme and, or four years of premedical degree followed by a medical interview by the few universities that offer medicine in the UK.
Because it's not all the Universities that offer medicine in the UK, the percentage offered to international students (the rest of the world) is only 6, making it very competitive.
But having been subjected to undergo these undergraduate programmes that are equally offered in Nigerian Universities like Pharmacology, Biomedical science, Biochemistry etc, which they successfully completed and a good number of them qualifying to start the medical course proper (MBBS), the RSSDA had asked them to come home as though the premedical degree was what they were offered the scholarship for.
Consequently, the agency has stopped paying their upkeep and accommodation allowances including their tuition fees.
In response to the lamentation of the stranded students, one Mrs Ogechi Odu of the RSSDA replied the students inter alia: “We had expected to receive funds from our funding authorities to enable us discharge our responsibilities to students and the Universities.
Further to this, payment of your last and final allowance for June and July as ex-gratia has remained unpaid. Because of the time it has taken for this payment to happen which is still being awaited, you would have incurred some expenses including rent on accommodation for August, management has granted one additional month allowance for August.
We hope to make your payments in naira upon your return in the event that we did not receive funding before the date of your return.
Consequently, we advise you to please give us your return date for us to provide you a return ticket as we will Not be responsible for your stay beyond August 2014, kind regards.”
Still at a loss, the students besides being compelled to return home without actualizing their dreams to become medical doctors for which they were offered the scholarship, said their expenses were incurred in the UK in pounds and cannot be allowed to leave without paying off these debts.
Frustrated as much as their children and wards, the parents of the affected students had cried out to Governor Amaechi as well as who cares to listen that what should have ordinarily been a thing of joy to the government and people of Rivers State, the extra ordinary performance of the students that just have been offered provisional admission into UK medical schools, has been frustrated by outright refusal of RSSDA to continue sponsoring them.
These aggrieved parents are therefore calling on Gov Chibuike Amaechi to as a matter of urgency intervene directly, arguing that the claim by RSSDA that the students have competed their degree programme for which scholarship was offered was untrue and a calculated to mislead the government, adding that all efforts to meet with the Secretary to the State Government, George Feyii to discuss the issue have been fruitless due to the SSG's evasiveness.
But the underlying fact remains that since the commencement of the RSSDA overseas scholarship scheme, only about four out of the estimated 250 students have secured admissions into medicine and three of them through A-Levels.
The low rate of admission is primarily due to RSSDA placing the students in inappropriate programmes and institutions such as business schools yet both the agency and Gov Amaechi are boasting of sponsoring Rivers Medical Students abroad for which he (Amaechi) has received undeserved applause.
What a deceit, the aggrieved students have cried out.###
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