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05.03.2009 Education

Education Ministry intervenes in UDS

By Edmond Gyebi, Tamale - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE MINISTRY of Education and the recently inaugurated Alumni Association of the University for Development Studies (UDS) have swiftly and intervened for the re-opening of the Wa Campus of the university.

Even though the Wa Campus, which has over 5,000 students representing half of the UDS population, was closed down by the authorities on the advice of the UDS Executive Committee, on February 25, for security reasons, the decision has eventually been reversed to enhance effective and continued teaching and learning.

The UDS authorities, in a release issued to the press, and signed by the Acting Registrar, S. M. Kuu-ire, therefore approved Monday March 3rd 2009 for the students to return to lectures, but it is not clear when effective classes would begin.

The Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Kaku Sagari Nokoe, in a telephone interview with The Chronicle, confirmed the recall of the students.

He expressed the appreciation of the UDS authorities to the Minister for Education, Mr. Alex Tetteh Enyoh, and the President of the UDS Alumni Association, Mr. Felix K. Abagale, for playing significant roles in ensuring understanding between the students and the authorities.

Although the four campuses of the UDS (Nyankpala, Navrongo, Tamale and Wa) are supposed to begin their semester examinations on April 6, 2009, the Acting Vice Chancellor hinted that he had issued a directive for a one week extension/delay in the commencement of the examination of the students of the Wa Campus.

Prof. Sagari Nokoe entreated the faculty of the Wa Campus and the students, to quickly reorganise themselves for teaching and learning.

Meanwhile, the cCourt case against Prof Nokoe, instituted by the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the university, has also been withdrawn with an apology.

It would be recalled that the Executive Committee of the University for Development Studies (UDS) indefinitely closed down the Wa Campus of the university (effective from Wednesday February 25, 2009).

Over 5,000 students, representing half the student population of the UDS, were therefore affected by the decision.

According to a letter dated February 24, 2009, issued and signed by the Acting Registrar of the UDS, Mr. S.M. Kuu-ire, the decision was necessitated by the long-standing “agitations, continued boycott of lectures by students, in spite of interventions by various stakeholders, and the growing concern for security of students, lecturers, and facilities.”

The letter was copied to the Acting Vice Chancellor, the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Deans of Wa, Navrongo, Nyankpala campuses, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, all Regional Coordinating Directors (Northern Sector) and the National Council for Tertiary Education among others.

The letter, however, entreated all resident students of the Wa Campus, to vacate their halls of residence by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday February 25, 2009.

Already, the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Wa Campus had since November 2008 demanded for the head of the Acting Vice Chancellor of the UDS, Professor Kaku Sagari Nokoe, for suspending the Central SRC President, Naab Alphonse, and his secretary, Owusu Aboagye, for alleged misconducts.

The action was therefore protested against by the other members of the SRC, who forced other students to boycott lectures, staged a series of demonstrations and allegedly attempted to destroy properties belonging to the university.

Meanwhile, a check by The Chronicle on the Wa Campus, at the time of filing this report, indicated that no student had arrived on campus.

The situation, according to a senior staff of the UDS, could be attributed to the strike action embarked upon by the workers of the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) yesterday.