The Ternopil National Medical University(TNMU) which was later named after Ivan Horbachevsky, an eminent Austrian chemist and politician of Ukrainian origin, was founded in 1957. Over 6,600 students are currently enrolled in Ternopil National Medical University including more than 1,977 international students from 53 countries.
Theresa Ofori, a Ghanaian student who completed Wesley Girls’ high school, furthered her education in this reputable institution pursuing General medicine. She shares her experience as a student leader.
“Right after my secondary education, I had the aim of furthering my education abroad but the big question was how to get there. One day, my mum who often listens to radio programmes called me to come and take details of a particular agency that helps students to further their education abroad. I happily rushed to follow the interview. Gracefully, it was the Dean of students of this noble institution who was elaborating on how one could easily get admission in TNMU. After that time, I kept visiting their office here in Ghana and as a lady who does not want to go anywhere blind, I made my research about the school. On 4th October, 2014, I left Ghana for Ukraine.
SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
Their system as at 2014, I will say was quite flexible to foreign students but it keeps on evolving to be unfriendly from time to time.
With the nature of my programme, students have been divided into groups of 12 members. I was in the 47th group with 8 Ghanaians, 2 Nigerians and 2 Arabs. We do have a test and discussions at every time with an expected pass mark at the end. Students who do not pass the tests are expected to retake the class and go for rework.
The way of conducting and writing examination here is slightly different from that of the Ghanaian system. Aside studying your books as a normal way of preparing for examination, you are also given averagely 4,000 questions for each discipline in at most four days to go through and out of these questions, only 48 of them will appear as standard questions for the examination.
We are not searched at the entrance of the examination hall as it is done in Ghana before we are allowed to enter the hall. We just go and write the paper when it is time. They have this special device which automatically puts all phones and other gudgets off and disconnects all networks. Moreover, the halls are wired with CCTV cameras which prevent you from cheating.
EXPERIENCE AS A STUDENT LEADER
NUGS is one of the powerful students’ unions here in Ukraine. NUGS stands for National Union of Ghanaian students and our potent objective is to basically champion the welfare of Ghanaian students here. I was privileged to serve NUGS – UKRAINE for quite a long time. In my 3rd and 4th year, I became the NUGS Financial Secretary at my local in Ternopil. I was a member of the organising committee at my local and the auditor at the national level in my 4th and 5th year. In my final year, 5th and 6th year, I got elected by my people to occupy the Vice president position in Ternopil local and was appointed as the Financial Secretary at the national level.
Combining these delicate portfolios with academics was not an easy nut to cruck but for the love of our country and our people, we defied all odds to serve our colleagues well.
SOME CHALLENGES AS A LEADER
As a former Financial Secretary, the first challenge that I won’t hesitate to share is the collection of dues. It was very difficult both at local and at the national level.
Secondly, the act of dismemberment on the side of some colleagues was discouraging. Some members, I mean our Ghanaian counterparts, only showed up when they had problems. That one, they will go at length to prove that they are Ghanaians hence NUGS members. After helping to resolve their situation, they disappear. That way of life was greatly affecting the union.
SOURCES OF FUND
I will begin by saying that leadership is measured by its courage and ability to be groundbreaking and far-sighted. Mr. Osman Abdul-Kadir, my local president and Mr. Mustapha Mumin Mohammed, the national president were very instrumental and well connected. So, we didn’t solely focused on the dues which was not forth coming as expected. Through the hard work of these presidents, we had some individuals and some organisations supporting us financially.
SOME ACHIEVEMENTS OF NUGS DURING OUR TIME
In our time, we did a lot of things which I would wish to mince my words on them. It will be as if we are blowing our own trumpet. Notwithstanding, I will share the very few that I recollect.
One, we aided people to get emergency exit. Those who were dismissed, and others with delicate issues to return home safely. We did this in collaboration with the Ghana Embassy in Switzerland. Secondly, we helped to solve countless students and management issues which time will not permit me to talk about one after the other.
Also, under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Mustapha, the national president, we created one website which houses all the locals; their programmes and other updated information. Moreover, we organised fun and educative programmes.
ADVICE TO STUDENT LEADERS
Practice time management to be able to balance every aspect of your life else one side will be lagging. They should also have patience and be humble because some people are very difficult to deal with. To understand people, you put yourself in their shoes. Moreover, as we all aspire to be beneficial to our country by contributing our quota hugely, we always need to start from somewhere. Anytime an opportunity presents itself to be a student leader, take up the challenge and never let it slip. It will prepare you for a higher pedestal.
Article by :
EMMANUEL BARTELS ANKRAH