Press Conference - The Realignment Of Programmes In UDS And Its Effects On The Wa Campus
PRESS CONFERENCE BY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF THE UPPER WEST REGION ON THE REALIGNMENT OF PROGRAMMES IN UDS AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE WA CAMPUS ON WEDNESDAY, 31ST OCTOBER, 2018 AT THE REGIONAL LIBRARY COMPLEX. - DELIVERED BY ISHAQUE SULEMAN, CO-CONVENER.
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the media. We have invited you here this morning to address pertinent issues affecting the growth of the University for Development Studies, Wa campus. We are very grateful to all of you for coming to cover this news conference.
We the Citizens of the Upper West Region are alarmed and outraged by the sinister, calculated and deliberate plans to see to the collapse of the Wa campus by the Vice Chancellor and some staff of the university, since the issue of autonomy of the Wa campus gained attention of the executive arm of government since 2012. From 2012 till today, UDS Central Administration has taken steps to weaken the Wa campus, so that, the quest to achieve autonomy will ultimately fail. The concerned citizens of Upper West have identified the following and demands urgent attention by government and the university council;
First, the systematic reduction of the number of students admitted to programmes in the Wa campus. In 2014, 4,612 students graduated in all disciplines from the Wa campus. This number dropped to 2,413 graduates in 2017. This is a reduction of about 50% of students.
It is interesting to note that, within the same period, the Tamale campus saw an increase of about 400% from 335 in all disciplines to in 2014 to 1,497 in 2017. Nyankpala campus also in the northern region witnessed within the same period, a rise in students graduating from 552 to 919. These figures were not manufactured by us but are available in the 15th and 17th programme and list of graduates’ handbook of the UDS.
Professor Amin Alhassan who failed to persuade the concerned citizens of upper west of this action to stop, hurriedly granted an interview at a local station, Radio Progress on Monday, the 29th of October 2018 and poured scorn on the people of the Upper West Region. This radio platform afforded Prof. Amin the opportunity to explain the challenges of the university and proffer solutions for them. He instead, used it to justify the reduction in numbers of students on the Wa campus with ridiculously laughable reasons and reckless explanations. He said that the low numbers of students in the Wa campus was because of:
- Insecurity on the Wa campus
- That the UDS, Wa campus is not marketable
- Lack of infrastructure on the Wa campus.
- The introduction of six technical universities
- Reduced WASSCE candidates for the many universities
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, embarrassing and nauseating as these reasons may sound, we want to advice Prof. Amin that he should build a lecture theatre or lecturers offices with the 250,000gh cedis he said he was going to use for the construction of a security post at the entrance to UDS, Wa campus.
We want to ask Prof. Amin if he wants us to bring our mothers from the markets and our homes to market PhD Social Administration, Bsc.Accounting/Commerce, and MA/Mphil Development Studies etc. We are prepared to assist him, if he is ready to vacate his post. If Prof. Amin cannot market the programmes of UDS, Wa campus, what is he doing here as a Principal?
How can Prof. Amin use insecurity as a reason for the reducing enrolment in UDS, Wa campus. Why, is it that the authorities of UDS do not care about the lives of the current students on campus? Don’t they equally need protection. The interview exposed prof. Amin as a residual drag on the growth of the Wa campus, who is in Wa for the remuneration of the position of Principal.
Second, the deliberate movement of programmes from the Wa campus to other campuses in the name of realignment. The faculty of education which was created by the toils and sweat of lecturers in the Wa campus was moved to Tamale in the name of realignment. According to the 18th congregation handbook of the UDS, this former faculty of Wa campus produced 744 students representing 14% of total graduate output for the 2016/2017 academic year. Just imagine, 14% of total graduate output lost to Wa campus. The movement of the Faculty of Education from Wa to Tamale has increased the faculties in Tamale to four (4) and eight (8) for the Northern Region if you were to add that of Nyankpala as at today. This movement has however reduced the faculties/schools in Wa campus to three (3).
Even with the three faculties, a grand scheme tilted “Realignment and Rationalization of academic staff” to take them away and finally collapse the Wa campus is set in motion. We noticed as part of the arrangement Prof. Sylvester Galaa a son of our soil shamelessly accepted to move to Tamale to pave way for the execution of a grand scheme. In fact, the current Principal of the Wa campus, Professor Amin Alhassan was a member of the committee that drew the realignment scheme. Perhaps, he has been sent by his principals to Wa campus to supervise its implementation. Prof. Amin and his colleagues in the committee recommended the following:
A. The proposed faculty of Arts with these departments currently running programmes in Wa campus will be moved to Tamale,
1. Department of Communication Studies and Innovation
2. Department of Journalism and Media Studies
3. Department of Public Relations and Advertising
4. Department of Library and Information Studies
5. Department of Cultural and Heritage Studies
6. Department of Modern Languages
7. Department of Theatre Arts
B. The proposed Faculty of Social Sciences will move to Tamale with these departments currently operating in Wa campus
1. Department of Sociology and Social Work
2. Department of Geography
3. Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
4. Department of Political Studies
5. Department of Economics
6. Department of history and Diaspora Studies
7. Centre for Regional Integration
C. The proposal by the scheme to collapse the Wa campus called realignment will move the department of African and General Studies under the faculty of Arts in A to Tamale and also move the Environment and Resource Studies to Navrongo. The dismembered faculty of integrated studies will be left with just (3) three departments instead of the original five(5) departments. The faculty of integrated studies will than have;
1. Department of Development Studies
2. Department of Social and Development Administration
3. And the yet to be created Department of Endogenous Development.
D. Two programmes will be moved from the school of business and law in the Wa campus. That is the Master of Arts in Leadership will be moved to IIRaCS in Navrongo and the department of law and legal studies moved to tamale (even though lecturers from Wa campus drew the modules for accreditation).
E. The faculty of Planning and Land Management with four departments is left untouched. Perhaps, they were too embarrassed with the number of faculties/Schools “realigned” with Tamale campus or maybe students are not attracted very much to the programmes in this faculty.
If the realignment and rationalization of academic staff report is fully implemented as we suspect, Tamale campus will have six faculties/schools:
1. School of Medicine and Health Sciences
2. School of Allied Sciences
4. Faculty of Education (moved from Wa)
5. Faculty of Arts (moved from Wa)
6. Faculty of Social Sciences (moved from Wa)
And four (4) for Nyankpala campus,
7. Faculty of Agriculture
8. Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment
9. Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Sciences
10. School of Engineering
Northern Region (i.e., Tamale and Nyakpala campuses) will have ten (10) faculties/schools and a head start in the event of autonomy.
Wa campus will be left with one full faculty, the faculty of Planning and land Management. And two badly mutilated, fractured and dying faculty/school in the School of Business and Law, and the faculty of Integrated Development Studies (FIDS).
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, you will notice that, programmes are leaving and none is moving to the Wa campus in the realignment scheme. The report should have been titled “Transfer of programmes and staff from the Wa campus to other campuses”.
Third, the refusal by the UDS authorities to give the Upper West Region a distance learning centre. As if Wa campus has not suffered enough, the authorities of UDS have wickedly denied it a distance learning centre. While the Upper East Region has their distance learning centres in Navrongo and Bawku. That for the Northern Region in Tamale and Sawla, Upper West Region does not have a distance learning centre of the UDS. How can the numbers increase? Is this not a deliberate ploy to render the Wa campus incapable of becoming autonomous?, This greatly affects socio-economic activities in the Region and its a known fact.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it said that “acta virum probant”. (Meaning, actions proves the man). The things that the UDS authorities have done and are still doing in the name of realignment betrays their intentions and tell us the sort of people in authority. We, the citizens of the Upper West Region have decided not to be silent about these intentions and actions. For he who is silent is taken to agree.
We are therefore demanding in the light of these actions and intentions of the UDS authorities to render the Wa campus incapable of an autonomous status that:
- The faculty of Education is returned to its rightful place, the Wa campus.
- A stop to the implementation of the so called realignment report.
- The establishment of two distance learning centres in the Upper West Region
- Stop intimidating lecturers perceived to be against this realignment by using their colleagues to spy and record their activities.
We will not give up the fight but will proceed boldly against the UDS authorities by;
1. Organising demonstrations frequently until they listen
2. Locking up lecture halls and offices in the Wa campus
3. Petitioning the President of the Republic of Ghana for the autonomy of Wa campus with particular reference to Dr. Christene Amoaku- Nuamah’s 10 member committee report
4. Fight these issues in court.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the Regional House of Chiefs for their leadership in this struggle. Our chiefs have been the lonely and untiring voice on this matter. It will be fair to commend the efforts of H.E Ambassador Sahanooni Mogtari for ensuring that the Upper west Region gets its campus in 2002, thirteen years after the university was established and would wish that one of the halls at the University be named after him.
Our gratitude also goes to those elders who instituted a court case on this matter in Tamale. Your courage inspired this press conference.
To our political and religious leaders in the Upper West Region, don’t wait to become mediators, speak NOW! We can achieve a lot together if it doesn’t matter which personalities take the credit.
To the UDS authorities, we say “pacta sunt servanda”. The agreement made under PNDC law 279(1992) where social science programmes were ceded to the Wa campus, must be kept.
SAVE UDS WA CAMPUS!
UPPER WESTENERS, WISE UP AND RISE UP!
AND LONG LIVE THE UPPER WEST REGION