Before I went to Germany in 2010 for the one year course in oncology, I had to pass a basic German proficiency examination. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be allowed to join in the surgeries in Germany. Later, I got to know that Ghanaians married to Germans also had to pass a basic proficiency examination in German before they could join their spouses in Germany.
So I set out to learn basic German at the Goethe Institute in Accra. Honestly, learning basic German was more difficult than the Oncology I learned in Germany.
On the day of examination, I was amazed by the number that had to write the examination. And many were from Nigeria!
I was curious, so went to find out. Are there no institutions in Nigeria that could organise these exams? The answer I got was depressing: There were institutions in Nigeria that taught German. Some of the candidates were from these institutions. However, certificates issued in Nigeria were not recognised in Germany. They could not be trusted…
This meant Nigerians had to travel all the way to Ghana to take this examination!
Many have said the perception of corruption in Ghana which is getting worse every year must be rejected. It is not important. The criteria used are flawed etc.
I beg to differ. We must do something about this now. Otherwise we shall make life difficult for our children and our children’s children. Certificates, for example, may not be recognised internationally… Our children may have to travel to other countries to take simple examinations for internationally recognised certificates.
Ghana is not an island.
This piece was written on December 28, 2015. It is in the upcoming book by Dr. Kofi Effah titled ‘Ghana on her knees: Reflections of a village doctor’ that features over 50 of his pieces.