The hope of a 22-year-old SHS graduate continuing her education to become a medical doctor hangs in the balance due to financial difficulties.
Ms Gifty Ama Djabanor, the daughter of a small-scale chop bar operator, passed her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 2017 with 7A1s and a B3, but serious financial challenges are affecting her dream of becoming a medical doctor.
She scored A1 in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Elective Mathematics, Core Mathematics, Integrated Science and Social Studies and a B3 in English.
She had obtained aggregate 20 in her Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in 2013 from the Oterkpolu Basic School but had to spend a whole academic year and a term at home before attending a private school, Bright SHS in Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region.
Owing to the financial challenges, she has decided to attend a nursing training college and has gained admission to the Atibie Nursing Training College.
But still there is no hope in sight, with less than a month to report to school, because she has to compete with three other siblings for the meagre family income.
“I really want to become a medical doctor, but looking at the financial situation, I’ve decided to divert to nursing because with nursing I will be in school for three years, get some allowance for my basic needs and when I complete I hope to get a job and make myself useful for my family and I.
“Medicine is a profession that I have a passion for.
I love the work and I am driven to help people when they are in need. I’m compassionate.
Human lives matter and it starts with being caring,”
she told the Daily Graphic at Oterkpolu in the Yilo Krobo municipality in the Eastern Region.
“I’m appealing for help.
I really want to go back to school.
If there was help anywhere, I would go for it, but I don’t know anyone.
This means a lot to me and my family,” she said, wiping tears from her face with her palm.
Ms Djabanor’s family’s financial challenges started just when she was about to enter JHS One, as that was when her father passed on, compelling her mother to withdraw her from the St Ann Anglican School in Koforidua.
Her mother decided that the family relocate to Oterkpolu because of the high cost of living in Koforidua.
Studying for her BECE was an arduous task, she said, because before going to school, she had to go with her mother to the farm and also help her cook at the chop bar after school.
“I didn’t get enough time to study. There was no light at home too. I had to wait until my mother finished using the torch for selling before I could use it,” she said.
Her family’s sleeping place is the chop bar — a one-room structure fenced with wood, bamboo and corrugated iron sheets.
She discussed the problem with her science teacher, who later became her sponsor and bought her a torch which enabled her to study in the night.
After her BECE, although she could not make it to her first-choice school, the Krobo Girls’ SHS, she got admission to the Begoro Presbyterian SHS, her second choice school, but she could not go because there was no money.
A teacher’s benevolence
A year later, her benevolent JHS Science teacher, Mr Daniel Appertey, stepped in and got her admission at the Bright SHS and also paid her fees throughout her stay in school.
Mr Appertey told the Daily Graphic that he took interest in Ms Djabanor’s education because while teaching her in JHS, he saw her as exceptional, to the extent that when her BECE results came, he even wanted to ask for a re-mark of one particular subject in which she didn’t do well.
After SHS, she got a job at the Paradise Exclusive Resort at Bunso as a revenue officer, earning GH¢340 a month.
“It was not enough, but I saved the little that I could.
When I was paid, I withdrew what I would use for myself and then whatever was left was saved to support my younger brother, who is also in SHS now,” she said.
Ms Djabanor expressed gratitude to Mr Appertey, saying: “I am really grateful for his kindness.
But for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I owe him a lot.”