Dr. Vida Nyagre Yakong has been re-elected Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Ghana’s University for Development Studies (UDS) for a second term.
She secured a record hundred percent endorsement as all thirty-one delegates, who went to the polls among thirty-three people registered for the election, backed her to hold the position for another two years.
Dr. Yakong rose from a very deprived background as a shepherd-girl in Nabdam, a district in Ghana’s Upper East Region, to the lofty position she occupies today.
A special story published this year by Media Without Borders about her interesting background and early-life adventures— titled From Forest to Faculty— inspired many in Ghana and around the world.
The election was conducted on the university’s campus in the Northern Region’s capital, Tamale, on Thursday, 17 August 2023.
“I wish to say a big thank-you to you all for the overwhelming support!” she reacted to the outcome.
“I am truly grateful and humbled! Words alone cannot describe my feelings and emotions seeing the results that is 100%. May the good Lord continue to keep us together for a better future and many more achievements. God bless us all,” the school’s foundation dean stated further.
Afterwards, she offered the delegates her blueprint for the school’s future. She said she would ensure that “our ongoing school complex is finished and staff move in” and “intensify collaborations for research drive with academic and research institutions.”
“I will work to secure a new minibus for the school to aid assessment of students’ fieldwork and supervision. I will continue to support and encourage senior members (non-PhDs) who are qualified to go to school to move on as part of our staff development and capacity building strategy. I will lobby for more qualified staff to be recruited to the school.
“I will work with the various heads of departments to start innovative and attractive postgraduate programmes in collaboration with the professional unions. Dear colleagues, let us continue with the good work we have started to make our school one of the best in Ghana and beyond and a place of choice for Nursing and Midwifery education. Thank you very much,” she stated.
Achievements that gave Dr. Yakong a second term
Dr. Yakong ran again for the dean, basing her bid on a dossier of achievements she racked up during her first tenure.
At one of her campaign events, she told a body of voters:
“During these past three years, I operated an open-door policy and served you with honesty, integrity and sincerity. I stood solidly behind you in good and bad times and we enjoyed every moment of it. Together, we also endured painful happenings but remained resilient and resolute.”
Then, she counted her achievements. They were fourteen in number. She mentioned some six departments created under her leadership and appointment of some staff to man the departments as heads upon her recommendation.
She said the number of the school’s senior members were only six when the school was created, but the number increased to thirty-three during her first term. A senior member, according to her, was promoted to senior lecturer during that period.
The voters also heard that a number of programmes the school proposed to the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) for reaccreditation were abandoned, but her first term saw the abandoned proposal revisited and given a favourable consideration.
Besides, a new programme in BSc Public Health Nursing was accredited. Two new programmes and some postgraduate programmes also were under review for accreditation.
“An examination office was set up and equipped with the necessary logistics and work is still ongoing with very committed staff. The school has gained more recognition by our regulatory bodies more than ever before as a result of my leadership. The strategic plan for the school focuses on quality education, research and innovation and community service and informs our work.
“We ensured that management started a 6-storey school complex to provide quality teaching and learning which is ongoing. We procured higher quality skills training laboratory equipment worth over one million Ghana cedis to support quality training. We procured 120 desktop computers to support our online professional examinations,” she said.
She also pointed at some five distance learning centres she said were created during her first stint as dean “to support easy access to nursing and midwifery education in the northern sector and beyond as well as generate income for the university.”
“And between 2020 and 2023, we have generated over sixty-four million Ghana cedis into the university,” she added.
Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org