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14.09.2004 General News

Accra City Campus faces crisis

By GNA

Accra, Sept 14, GNA - Students of the Accra City Campus (ACC) of the University of Ghana have become apprehensive about their fate when the Principal hinted that lecturers at Legon main campus were not obliged offer their services to them. Besides, Sociology, a course most students offer, could be scrapped at the centre because of difficulties the authorities at the ACC were having in getting permanent or consistent lecturers.

These came to light on Tuesday when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) paid a visit to the campus and realised that a notice by the student body to that effect has generated a lot of anxiety among the students. This, according to the students, was contrary to what the University Handbook says that lecturers who teach courses on the main campus would be the same people to lecture at the ACC. They said in addition, the handbook has stated clearly that students were free to subscribe to programmes/subjects of their choice under a flexible time table so as to accommodate the needs of the students who mainly were workers.

Speaking to the GNA, Mrs Cynthia Opoku-Manu, President of the ACC Students Representative Council (SRC) said contacts made to some of the lecturers assigned to take up courses on the timetable showed that they were either not aware or unwilling to come. She said as a result some level 400 students have been asked to attend lecturers at Legon, a situation that has created problems for the students because they had to leave their workplaces and attend classes in the mornings.

Established by the University of Ghana, the ACC formerly known as the External Degree Centre was to cater for persons who intended to study for courses leading to degrees on part time basis. The students appealed to the University Council to intervene in the matter. Professor J. T. Wiredu, the Principal of ACC confirmed the matter to the GNA, saying, "It is true that the centre is having problems getting the lecturers from main campus to the City Campus but not to the degree the SRC notice seemed to suggest.

"Besides, no lecturer is obliged to come and teach at the ACC and nobody can force a lecturer to be here. Lecturing at the ACC is part time for them. That's is why it's important we get our own lecturers". Prof Wiredu explained further that some lecturers received their letters late, which explained why they were unable to attend lecturers for the first week. "If few lecturers were not coming, the SRC should not make a general case out of that," he said.

However, he said the situation of lecturers' absenteeism was normal because it was not different from what happens on the main campus whenever a fresh semester resumes, at least for the first and second weeks. Professor Wiredu again corroborated the scrapping of the Sociology course, saying "Oh yes! We are going to ask people from taking that course at the ACC". He explained: "If we are having problem with a particular course, especially with getting consistent lecturers we see no need in continuing to offer that course."

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