The attention of the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma has been drawn to some unverified news reports making the rounds in some online platforms concerning the University’s College of Medicine allegedly compelling their students to sign undertaking of continued studentship due to alleged unavailability of instructional and technical facilities to train medical students.
The institution’s head of corporate communications and protocol, Otunba Mike Ade Aladenika, in a statement issued in Benin-City, said “the purported story is unfounded, biased and without genuine professional research conducted before publication”.
According to Otunba Aladenika, “the said undertaking is a product of understanding between the management of the medical college, the concerned students and the body of parents on how best to address a lingering status of these students within the university which was brought to the attention of the present university management.
“There are about 419 (Four Hundred and nineteen) students in the pre-clinical programme in the University who are products of irregular admission by previous University Administration.
“The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) is unable to index them because our admission quota for the medical programme has long been filled up due to the ‘irregular admission’ reason given above,” Aladenika said.
Aladenika further explained that, “Before these students can have space in the clinical training phase of the medical programme, they will have to wait for between 8 to 10 years.
“The Medical Council had advised the College Management to send these students away to other programmes where there are spaces. However, after a series of pleas and meetings between the College Management and the students as well as some parents, agreements were reached to grant a kind of soft landing for these students. The students said they were ready to wait for as long as it would require for them to start their clinical programme. Agreements reached with the students were as follows:
1. That they be allowed to write their 1st professional exams and then use the result to transfer to clinical programmes in other universities if they pass the exams.
2. Those who are unable to transfer should be transferred to other related programmes in the College of Medicine such as Human Anatomy and Human Physiology.
3. After obtaining a degree in either Human Anatomy and Human Physiology, they would be given priority whenever there are spaces in the clinical programme.
4. The students are to ensure that they pay their fees during this bridging period.
When these agreements were reported verbally to the university management and the special intervention team, the college management was advised to put the agreement into writing and ensure that the students have input in this as well as sign an undertaking to give proper backing to that effect so as to guard against any form of arbitrariness, future denial, blackmail or recant.
This was supposed to be a last-ditch effort to salvage their ambition of becoming medical doctors.
The head, corporate communications and protocol, AAU Ekpoma, further said, “The arrangement offers the affected students the opportunity of having two degrees upon graduation.
“It may also interest you to know that while detractors, enemies of growth and progress of the students and the university are attempting to make a mountain out of a molehill, the affected students have signed the undertaking freely and willingly, and their programme is making progress. The First Professional exams have since commenced,”Aladenika said.
Aladenika advised mischief makers and all those who have declared unwarranted war on the university and are bent on attacking the university and its management at every excuse to look elsewhere as the university management will not be intimidated by the shenanigans or distracted from its mission of having a world class medical college.