This morning I woke up to do my usual ancient canticles reading and some texts from the good book with my retired grandmother who holds dear to her heart cooperate governance and laws. She reads from the book 2 Samuel 15:30-32, David’s prayer against Ahitophel. She explains that, in life, people with whom you serve, those who serve you, friends, counselors and co-equals sometimes may rise against you, but regardless, pray to your maker, he will turn their plots and actions into foolishness. This lesson I greatly took.
Afterwards, she asked me how studies have been amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and electronic learning strategies rolled out by the University of Ghana, of which she applauded the University for its innovations over these years. I write this morning because, she asked me a very critical question which I believe many should hear.
In her Typical Pennsylvania accent, she asked “Kwaku, do you owe the University any resit papers? I boldly answered No.
The last time, during the lockdown, I saw a circular by the University detailing how resit exams are going to be taken. I rarely did not pay attention to it because I least bothered. I felt very worried after my old grandmother narrated to me stories of young graduates whose appointments have been terminated because they could not prove their university certification.
In my few years and studies in Corporate Ghana, any serious firm would certify any stated certification on any employees’ curriculum vitae presented.
The Human Resource department then writes to the school to certify that the presented certification is genuine and correct, especially with class of honors. Sometimes BECE, WASSCE certificates are even requested from the individual for checks to be done.
When all these processes are done, that is when the university then writes back to the firm certifying that everything is intact. Last week I sadly read the story of some over thousand workers of the Public Service with fake certification in Ghana. I only said to myself that the Human Resource Directors of these institutions should be sacked, because these are simple HR rules and practices.
One story that struck me was a young national service personnel who has been maintained in one of the biggest financial firms in Ghana, good salary, insurance cover, health care and all. Only for the HR to know that, he does not have a certificate that proves his completion of courses taken in the University of Ghana. Hence such an appointment has to be terminated.
I write in simple language because I believe that, these stories told by my old lady happens each and every year in the country. As I recount these stories, friends could even point many popular students on campus who completed school without certificates.
I believe that, possibly many did not know this and hope to be maintained after national service. But the question I believe colleague final year students should be asking is whether their certification is intact and can be proven. If resit papers can be taken at this short period, it should be taken. You may be very good, vocal, excellent in any field, once you cannot prove your certificate, the Nebuchadnezzar world will rule you out.
I hope that the University can come up with good strategies and roadmaps to help these students so they can peacefully journey on with their aspirations amidst the pandemic. I also look forward to the SRC beginning conversations with the office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor for actions to be taken.
But as I write in optimism, I believe continuing students can also learn from this, if you have resit to take, you do it early and quickly so it does not come back to hunt.
Lets be safe and play safe.
Written by: Emmanuel Owusu Agyei Ampem, final year Political Science Student of the University of Ghana