By: Samuel Agbewode, Hohoe

The authorities at the Hohoe Midwifery Training School are putting in place measures to reverse the poor perforce of students in their final examinations.

The authorities have attributed the unfortunate trend to a number of factors, including poor performance at the basic level of education of the students in English.

As part of the measures to reduce the large number of students’ failure at the final examination, the authorities have decided to repeat students who did not perform very well in the previous semester examinations, but this decision has not go down well with the majority of the final year students, who have been asked to repeat, in order to prepare adequately for the final examinations.

The students, in their final year, have thus petitioned the Volta Regional Directorate of Health Service to intervene to ensure that they participate in the final examinations.

Speaking to The Chronicle on the issue at Hohoe, the Principal of the Hohoe Midwifery Training School, Madam Narki Doku, explained that the institution was noted for its high performance over the years, but for some time now, the same could not be said, hence the decision to adopt measures that would help uplift the image of the school.

She, however, expressed shock at the reaction of the students, who she said, were part of the decision-making process to uplift the standard of the school.

Madam Doku explained that according to the directives of the Midwifery Council, students who failed their semester examinations three times should be dismissed, but the school authorities decided to repeat them instead, stressing that the petition by the students to the higher authorities was a calculated attempt to drag her image into the mad

The Principal continued that most of the students in their final year who wanted to register for the final examination had pass marks between 1.5 and 1.6 respectively in their semester exams, which compelled the school authorities to repeat most of them in the second year, but the trend of poor performance became worse when they entered the 3rd year.

Madam Doku further explained that the decision to repeat some of the final year students became necessary in view of the nature of the courses being offered, noting that seriously, no professional body would like to register students who continually failed six subjects.

Madam Doku also revealed that a major contributing factor to the mass failures was because the majority of students gained admission to the school with poor English Language fundamentals, “to the extent that some of them cannot write a sentence correctly, and we have their records to back what I am telling you,” so the only way to ensure that they perform well to become qualified midwives was to repeat them.

“I stand for quality, especially, in a life saving profession like Midwifery. I would not expect anything short of excellence, and I am telling you Ghana needs qualified, as well as disciplined Midwives, to help reduce maternal mortality in this country, and I would not support substandard training of our midwives, us our professional Council of Midwifery abhors substandard training of our students,” she stressed.

Madam Doku said the midwifery profession, just like other areas of health related education, dealt with the lives of people, therefore, students, particularly those in Midwifery, needed to be properly trained to meet the professional and moral standards, most importantly, at the time maternal mortality was a major problem to the nation. “No way! I cannot allow these students to pass through the training school and later become a problem to the health facilities where they will be working.”

The Deputy Volta Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Winfred Ofosu, also expressed concern about the poor performance of students at the Hohoe Midwifery Training School, particularly, in English Language, saying it was a major problem the school authorities were dealing with, and attributed the situation to the poor performance in English Language at the basic level, as well as the Senior High School (SHS) level.

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