The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has demanded that government takes immediate steps to reform the admissions process of health training institutions by eliminating the arbitrary allocation of the 30 per cent of the admissions currently ceded to government. The NDC has also demanded an end to the political interference in the admissions process to ensure that they are solely based on merit, and fairness. This was contained in a statement issued by the Northern Regional Secretariat of the NDC, signed by Mr Mohammed Abdul Salam, Northern Regional Secretary of the NDC, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale. The statement raised concerns about certain ongoing developments at health training institutions, alleging that the government had written to principals of health training institutions mandating that 30% of the schools’ admissions capacity would come from government. It said, ‘Besides the reserved 30% quota for government protocol admissions, politicians-DCEs, MCEs, Ministers, party executives, party thugs, among others-besiege the offices of the principals of health training institutions to demand admission offers from the remaining 70%. Principals who refuse to comply with these party members’ requests are often labelled as anti-government and earmarked for possible victimisation. In the end, more than half of the admissions go to prospective students not strictly based on merit but rather on the power of politicians.’ It said the practice was worrying as it compromised merit-based selection, potentially lowering the quality of health care professionals, and patient care, which had broader implications for the health care system. The statement called on the government to fulfil its promise to restore nursing trainees’ allowances and clear the arrears to address the financial hardships facing nursing trainees, adding ‘These allowances should not be tied to reductions in admissions quotas.’ It called for greater transparency and accountability in the admissions process with clear guidelines and oversight mechanisms to prevent undue influence and the victimisation of principals. It said, ‘It is imperative that the government ensures equal access to education for all qualified secondary school leavers, who aspire to join health training institutions. The rejection of thousands of students due to unfair practices must cease.’ It called on the government to uphold the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution to refrain from attempts to politicise vital sectors such as health care and education, adding, ‘The government must commit to fair, merit-based admissions and cease any actions that undermine these principles.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

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