Saturday, 14 November 2009

Blame it...

...the other part of my excuse can be split between a few parties. notably among them the British High Commission and the University of Aberdeen.
The British High C'sion in their bid to prevent anyone they think is unworthy and unsuitable from entering their lovely country...sorry, my mistake, i think the rationale is to simplify the process and ensure the quality of the candidates chosen...have developed a new system of visa applications. I encountered one called the TIER 4 General Student and I have never been the same since then. I can understand a State's need to ensure that they have control over their immigration processes, especially a State that receives millions of visitors each year. I can even,by a stretch of my imagination, understand the high visa fees charged...but I cannot understand a system that seems designed to frustrate and thwart its applicants with its twists and turns. There were simply so many requirements that an average person cannot satisfy them satisfactorily enough to be granted the passmark of 40 points.

In fact, by the time the decision came out, both my dad and I had been losing sleep and were thoroughly exhausted. In fact, I remember his words when I called him that afternoon to tell him I got the visa, "......ok, I am going to bed, I need my rest, I think I deserve it after all we have been put through..."

I have been blessed enough to be approved. But as usual, as the unasked and unpaid campaigner for other people; I can't help but wonder how many people have been denied the chance to pursue their dream education because of this constrictive system of rules. Or scared away just looking at the tall list. I quite remember a very upset man taking his frustration on the security guards. Suddenly he seemed to remember they were lowly guards who have no control over the process, and probably had no idea what he was talking about and he walked off mumbling to himself. I am tempted to look for statistics on mental imbalances caused by being 'bounced' by an embassy. I really think something should be done about the fact that the [arm-and- leg, plus small organ] fees involved are not refundable. At the very least, there should be a non-refundable administrative fee. I think it's terrible that all the European/western countries would not dare impose such measures lightly in their own countries but get away with it elsewhere because their visas are in such demand.

Well, the university of Aberdeen is partly to blame because they are giving me so much 'exciting' course work that I find other exciting diversions, for example ones that don't involve writing, research or computer screens [unless gossip girl is on]. I actually don't mind doing my research because one can actually find a wealth of resources readily available. I do miss the well-loved and chorused excuse we would sometimes give in class [in Tech] that we didn't find the material. Oh don't get me wrong, we would eventually locate the material, definitely before or around exams, or the date the course work is due...just usually not at the time we were required to. In our defence we were under grads, and are allowed some leeway.
Not now though, when tempted to slack some more, I remind myself of the zeros on the cheque my dad sent, and the [increasing] exchange rate of cedis to pounds and I sit up straighter. Now I joke that if looking for material had been this easy in university I would have graduated with a first class. Though I jest, it would be lovely, if even one Ghanaian public university's library and IT access network could be brought up to par with that of the 'worst' American or British university's. Students and lecturers would find things quite easy, maybe even enjoyable [...and if,like here, all lectures are posted on the network, missing class might not be so bad ;)]
One of my flatmates is training to be a primary school teacher and mentioned how excited her pupils were when she did something new in windows power point. "Power point??" I echoed, thinking of my candles-n-hope ayeduase kids, most of whom, saw a PC up close for the first time thanks to us...Oh Africa...when???