Can AIMU clear the air?

After all the scandal at Lambirds Academy including its closure which was the finale to all that had been brewing (or was it?), with the arrest and subsequent charge of a number of persons connected to the Academy, the spotlight has been on the offshore schools operating here.

The American International Medical University has opened it doors for another school year.

The American International Medical University has opened it doors for another school year.

There have been numerous public discussions and also rumours circulating that similar schools may be operating in Saint Lucia with no accreditation or the prerequisite documents to validate that they are legitimate. And then there was the arrest in August of the dean from another medical school operating here. Since then several charges have been laid against Executive Dean and CEO of the American International Medical University (AIMU), Dr. Raj Babu. The AIMU head has been charged on eight counts, among them the unlawful possession of visa applications and illegal advertising. He was granted bail in the sum of EC$20,000 cash.

There has been recent talk of the school being shut down. This week the STAR visited the school in Beausejour, Gros Islet to find out the status of AIMU from officials there. On Wednesday, I spoke with the head of the school, Evans Calderon, who assured me that the ‘talk’ was “absolute rubbish” and that all such rumours should be disregarded, as they were not only idle and unsubstantiated, but also incorrect.

Mr. Calderon informed me of an upcoming press conference which he intends to host on behalf of the school to ‘clear the air’ and finally put to rest the concerned minds of not only parents of students attending the medical university, but also the students themselves as well as the general public.

Outside of regular school hours I took the liberty of speaking with a current nursing student who has been attending the school in question. Her view was that the school is indeed in operation and far from closure. She considers AIMU to be a ‘good’ school compared to other medical schools. She explained: “Once school resumes, work starts, I mean school work. So lazy students cannot attend AIMU. They will complain!” She revealed to me that when she came to the island with her qualifications from her native country, she was told that these were not acceptable for the AIMU programme and that she had to start afresh in order to ‘qualify’ for the AIMU syllabus.

In the meantime, within the walls of AIMU it looks like business as usual for the board of educators and facilitators, and school as usual for students. And while we await the promised press conference, Dr. Raj will soon have another day in court.

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