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17.03.2007 General News

UDS Mock Parliamentarians Call On University Students To Help Move Nation Forward


Students of the University for Development Studies (UDS) Nyankpala campus have observed that the university's students had not contributed enough to Ghana's development since independence.
They said politicians had used university students over the years as propaganda machinery to achieve their aims rather than helping and contributing to fight disease, hunger, ignorance and set agenda for the nation's development.

The students made these remarks at Nyankpala yesterday in a mock parliamentary debate on the topic: "Ghana @50, the contribution of the university student to national development."

The miniature UDS Parliament represented Ghana's 230-member House with the Majority supporting the motion that, "The university student had contributed enough for the nation's development," while the minority kicked against the motion.

The UDS mock Parliament was also meant to strengthen parliamentary democracy in the three northern regions and to raise the interest of students in parliamentary affairs so as to learn its procedures.

Mr Daniel Kwadwo Danquah, who acted as minority leader said university students were always fighting for their own interests such as increasing loans for students and costs sharing in tertiary education than seeking solutions to the brain drain and given recommendations to government on how it could be addressed.

Mr Danquah said university students had also contributed to the increasing poverty situation and falling standards of education in the country since most of them had always been refusing postings to rural communities for National Service.

On a point of order, Mr Kwaku Tuoho Bambosan, who acted as the Speaker, said students do not use National Service to help reduce poverty and to contribute their quota towards national progress.

Mr Danquah continuing said, "Mr Speaker, I agree but don't forget that if rural communities continue to receive new and educated people in their communities, they would learn from them new ways of improving their lives including ending poverty."

Others who contributed from the minority side indicated that Ghana had been where Dr Nkrumah and other founding fathers left it 50 years ago since its educational, health and economic sectors were sinking and called for patriotism to improve standards in the country.

Mr Daniel Agyin Tweneboah, Majority leader said the university student had helped to transform and improve the country's democratic dispensation, which all Ghanaians were now enjoying.

He said the university was a place of peace, light, change and liberty and that the university student, over the years stood firm against military dictatorship in Ghana even at a time freedom of speech was not working.

Mr Tweneboah called on all to help find solutions to the country's problems to ensure that Ghana moved from a developing country to a middle-income earner country. He said, "What we should do now as students is to tell the government to use only university students for the National Youth Employment Programme and force the rest into farming so as not to further sink the educational standards."

Mr Bambosan later called for cooperation and unity to sustain the parliamentary club in the three northern regions to enhance parliamentary democracy in the universities. He said if such debates were regularly held and sustained in the universities it would help the government to solve graduate unemployment and that it was necessary for government not to use school dropouts as auxiliary teachers but university students who had experience and knowledge to teach.

He said the UDS parliamentary club was facing a lot of challenges and expressed the hope that adequate measures would be put in place to ensure that students and stakeholders realised its importance and give it the necessary support.