UDS in Deep Crisis ...
Sends SOS to Government The University for Development Studies (UDS), the highest learning institution and only one in the Northern Region, is said to be overshadowed by chains of problems, which are dispiriting some qualified students in and outside the region from accepting admission into the university and encumbering quality teaching and learning.
The Chronicle can confirm that the University is indeed lagging far behind development as far as its status is concerned.
Though the university has witnessed some kind of improvement in this current NPP administration, the Concerned Students Association (CSA) of the UDS, Nyankpala Campus, has passionately called on the government to double its efforts at development projects going on in the university to enable it catch up with the other Universities across the country.
The UDS Concerned Students who claimed to be backed by the Students Representative Council (SRC), at a press conference they organized in Tamale, implored the government not to lose focus on its responsibility of securing a conducive environment for the smooth running of activities of both the students and their lecturers and urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, see to the tarring of the Nyankpala campus internal roads.
They enumerated that, since the days of Mr. Kwesi Botchwey, renovation and upgrading of the Tamale Central Teaching Hospital was mentioned in the national annual budgets, but because the monies were not serving the intended purposes, students of the SHMS at the UDS rather preferred going to the sister universities for their clinical studies at high cost to the university, apart from the frustrations they passed through.
They therefore appealed to the government and the GETfund to construct spacious lecture halls at all the UDS campuses instead of the old classrooms, which was making teaching and learning difficult. Also, they expressed the need for residential facilities for students (non-residents).
The leader of the Concerned Students, Mr. Samuel Kwadwo Frimpong, contended that the UDS campus at Wa could not qualify to be called a university campus, since the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies inherited only one structure which is used for lectures in turns, adding, "lectures have to be suspended when it is raining, due to leakage.
And transportation in Wa is a nightmare, if one has not got a motorbike, yet students live far from campus and have to charter taxi to lectures."
The CSA members however, put on record their deepest appreciation to the government for releasing their share of the GETfund, leading to an acceptable increase in development projects in the university.
According to the students, the government, through the GETfund, has provided funds for the building of one-storey lecture rooms, office accommodation for lecturers, pipe-borne water for the Nyankpala campus, a three-storey ladies hall also under construction, a 500 capacity lecture theatre also under construction at Nyankpala and the long-awaited campus for the SHMS was steadily progressing on the Tamale-Kumasi road.
Other similar projects being funded by the GETfund were going on, on the Wa and Navrongo campuses of the UDS, including a Library complex under construction at Nyankpala and Navrongo campuses.
"This year, GETfund is to fund projects to the tune of more than ¢20billion. Arab Development Bank is also constructing a four-storey men's hall at Nyankpala and AGSSIP has also provided funds for the construction of a Science laboratory, meat laboratory, Screen house and many others at Nyankpala.
"One individual we would like to cite for commendation is H.E. the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama for fulfilling his promise to renovate the Great Hall at Nyankpala campus."
A-four kilometer road that was a nightmare for the Nyankpala community has been tarred through the Vice President's instrumentality and hrough his personal intervention and contribution, the Nyankpala junction to the UDS campus road has been tarred and provided with an ultra-modern entrance gate, the CSA members noted.
They were optimistic that the government and its development partners would go beyond their current efforts at transforming the UDS to make it more attractive for other qualified students and lecturers to accept admission and posting respectively.
They, however, called on the Ghana Telecom (GT) to try as much as possible to erect more phone booths on the campuses and repair those on the Nyankpala campus, which had broken down about eight months ago.