Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) formerly known as University for Development Studies- Wa Campus (UDS), is largely known for its adept inculcation of development studies which claimed to have expedited the development of Ghana especially the Northern part. SDD-UBIDS has apparently held in high reverence the principle of participatory approach to development in bringing about development and in effective decision making.
However, in recent times, we the students of SDD-UBIDS have been drawn to believe that we have been lied to during all these years in our stay on campus because of certain unpopular decisions that have been made by the Management of our university without been genuinely considerate about our welfare. We had just finished our Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP) in October 2021 and returned home exhausted from the multiple challenges we encountered during our stays in the rural communities across the country.
While still lamenting and whining over the multiple anxieties we faced in those communities, the Management of our university inconsiderately decided to exacerbate our plight by asking us to return to school on the 8th of November, 2021. This directive from the Management compelled us to question its logic because as adept as we have portrayed to be, they should have known better not to call for students to return to school when they had just returned home TTFPP wondering how and where to get the necessary equipment to return to school for the next academic year, not to talk of getting money for school fees, accommodation and feeding.
As usual, students petitioned the Management through the Students Representative Council (SRC) to consider reviewing their decision to reopen school on the 8th of November, 2021. After moments of deliberations between the SRC and Management, Management decided to grant us respite for one week hence the reopening of school was set on the 15th of November, 2021. Meanwhile, we had hoped and expected that Management would consider making subjective decisions in favor of us all especially we the students to resume school come January next year, but it seemed to us that management was so eager for students to return to school not so our academic calendar could recover from the setbacks of Covid-19, but so Management may receive the mandatory tuition fees every student is mandated to pay to the university.
Just when we thought we had seen enough of the demonstration of how the Management of our university seemed to have exhibited the top-down method of decision making and planning, then came another shocking news that the labor unions in SDD-UBIDS and its allies elsewhere have just declared a strike action to withdraw from work from 16th of November, 2021 until their demands are met. This shocking news heightened the grief of students and our collective doubt on the rationality of Management for calling us back to school while it had a lot of unresolved issues going on that disrupts academic activities. This strike action later was suspended on the 22nd November, 2021.
As students whose genuine concerns were utterly disregarded by Management had no choice but to painfully accept the situation as it was, decided to report to school while a one-week strike action pursued. For most of us have only started lectures on the 29th of November, 2021 and still having some lectures cancelled because the lecturers responsible for those cancelled courses are not available at the moment. While all these absurdities and irrationalities take place with students still wondering why Management asked for us to return to school whilst all the machinery of the university were not ready to work, through the SRC, Management has asked us on the 1st of December, 2021 to start making payments of our school fees with some categories of students having increments in their school fees with a deadline on the 18th of February, 2022 for all students to make their payments.
A good number of students are still at their various homes because they are unable to mobilize even the cost of transportation to get to Wa, not to talk of their school fees, accommodation and feeding especially with every hostel-owner recently increasing their rents. With all this troubles that students are facing, Management has coerced students back to school only to have us bitterly experience its labor unions parading in and out of strike actions.
I, on behalf all the students in SDD-UBIDS, would state clearly that if Management fails to make the necessary arrangements for this tender trimester to end successfully, should not in anyway, blame students for refusing to succumb to its directives anymore until the relevant issues are addressed. For Management is ideally existing because of students and the vice-versa hence adherence to the rational demands of students, Management and all the labor unions on campus.
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
DEPARTMENT OF DEVELPOMENT STUDIES
6th December, 2021.
Deans and Directors