SHS graduate admitted to Medical School can't afford fees

BY: Seth J. Bokpe

A 21-year old senior high school science(SHS) graduate who has gained admission to the University of Ghana Medical School is struggling to pay his fees.

Mr Joseph Doe Kumedzro, a product of the Keta Senior High School who completed SHS in 2016, and scored 7A1s in the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), said his mother, a petty trader who sold fruits to take care of his education from the basic to the SHS level, could no longer help him further his education.

Joseph who had A1 in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Elective Mathematics, Integrated Science, Core Mathematics, Social Studies and B3 in English, said he taught at a remedial school to save money to buy his admission form.

In 2016, he initially applied for admission to the Medical School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) but was offered Biochemistry.

Fee paying  
Luck smiled at him and he was admitted to study Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Ghana, Legon. He said the university made him a fee-paying student with his provisional fee at a cost of GHS6,541 while his residential fee was GHS2,400.

With the possibility of losing his admission spot due to financial difficulties, he said a friend, Mr Stanley Dugah helped him to borrow money to pay 60 per cent of academic and 50 per cent of residential fees respectively.

A mother’s  struggle  
“If help doesn’t come, it means I will drop out of school, but I don’t want to drop out. My mother has sacrificed a lot and this is an opportunity to further my education and lift the burden off her shoulders,” he told Graphic Online.

Joseph said his mother sold fruits but what she made from it was “small and that was what the entire household, including my 86-year old grandmother and I depend on.”

According to him, although his father was alive, he had taken no interest in his education and that of his elder brother, leaving a family member to support his brother to complete polytechnic.

He said although a-72-year old relative had decided to give him pocket money if he gained admission to the university, he had told him that he could not afford the cost of medical school education.

A childhood passion
“Medicine has been my passion from childhood and it is still there. I just like the way doctors are committed to sacrifice for others, serve humanity and save lives.

“Knowing the criteria for selecting medical students is very high, I took my studies very seriously and year after year my passion intensified,” he stated.  

Joseph is therefore appealing to individuals to support him to achieve his long cherished dream of becoming a medical doctor not just for himself but to serve and save lives.

Encouragement  
Joseph who wants to specialise in dental surgery, said he has always been aware of the family's precarious financial situation but believes all of their suffering will come to pass if he succeeds with his dreams.

He said, it was not easy to pay his fees at the SHS level since his fees were always in arrears because the burden was solely on his mother.

“One thing that helped me was that the teachers knew me and helped me so when it came to exams they had a way of letting me write. In WASSCE time it was not easy. My mother had to go and borrow money. It took her months to raise the money to pay back,” he explained.

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