A TALE OF WOES, REAL ISSUES, AND WHY WE MUST ACT NOW! 2008, was the year it all started, young chaps, intelligent and vibrant all met at a new land many were not so willing to stay back in, all with eye set on ‘the promised land'(LASUCOM) they had never set foot on, it was a struggle of over 1000 students. When we finally arrived the shores of the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) , Ikeja, it was like we had gotten a taste of heaven, we had fought and won a grueling academic battle.
We actually believed we were the favored 10 who God had suddenly carved out dentistry for as the earlier promised 15 slots only was already filled by our medical counterparts, we never knew the name of the mammoth mountain that was before us, we had this inner peace, we were free, tabulae rasae, neonates who had no irk of understanding of the word ”ACCREDITATION”, we jumped from pillar to post as every other medical student did, attended every class, wrote every incourse (failed some passed some) but were awaken on that ugly Friday to our 1st professional exams scheduled to start the next Monday (2 days to the exams).
The school management, headed by the then provost met us and told us, that we would not be joining our medical counterparts in the exams on Monday because we did not have the word; ”ACCREDITATION” it was a shocker many have not still recovered from, dreams lost, hopes shattered, imagine the stress of gruelling preparation for a professional exam, the first for that matter. Days rolled into months and months to over a year, we wrote letters, we fought, our parents fought and we finally in late 2012 got the first accreditation and we wrote our first professional exams with the class directly below us, we never joined our medical counterparts again till date, except for one that is worth mentioning just weeks after they had finished the exams we were asked to join them by our faculty for the path and pharm classes, while we tarry for the accreditation, to our greatest surprise we were asked to standup for recognition in the class and then asked to leave the class and go back to our parents by the then VC cum pathologist we all had tears of shame and sorrows on our cheeks, indelible marks of deep seated pain dented our hearts as we saw the doors of our future shutting down before our very eyes, many lost hope, 2 of us immediately left the school, but we the remaining 8 have been gallant.
Ever since that day, we have been engaging the VC, provosts after provosts, deans after deans, tenures after tenures on the need to make plans and act for the final accreditation.
NO ONE LISTENED!. All we were told was read your books and Oh i almost forgot to let you know that we only got a ”partial Accreditation” for the first one for the basic medical sciences, the final one comes up before 4 years elapses after the first, we’ve reached the crossroads since last year nothing was done until 6 months ago when the new VC and provost came into office we met both and work started with a promise of latest August, 2016 after earlier schedules of graduation were moved for a record 3 times. To save you the stress of so much stories we have gotten the governor to sign and approve the 100M budgeted for the 2nd accreditation, we should be happy but there is a ”BUT” The ministry of health chaired by the commissioner for health has not released the already approved funds to Lasucom and said it would “take almost a year for us to graduate” stretching our stay in medical school to10 years .
On other adjoining issues the partial accreditation earlier stated is also threatened, as in barely four months a mandatory visit of the MDCN for the process would happen, the law states that you cannot have 2 partial accreditation, only at least one partial and one full, we currently have one partial , and we know that if these funds are not released in time and MDCN comes we wont have a partial but a fail, hence they would withdraw the earlier gotten partial accreditation, the reality of this statement is that the future of all dental students in LASUCOM is collectively threatened, God forbid! but some might be in the same shoes we were 5 years ago.
Think about your friends, your classmates, think about 8-9 years rolling quietly away, think about our many dreams, think about how our families think of us as dropouts, think about how much we want to impact the world and are held down, think about the pain and shame, this is also your fight, join the courtesy visit enmass on monday, make this sacrifice, make this match to ask the action Governor to finish what he has started. We need you, your voice counts, we are not going for a protest its a visit we have earlier written him about,we are going to appeal that he finishes what he has started by giving the funds to the rightful quarters which is school, there is power in our collective voices, there is power in our numbers” #APioneer Dental Student of LASU COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, IKEJA.
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