Nyankpala (N/R), May 15, GNA - As part of its "Third Trimester Field Practical Programme," (TTFPP) the University for Development Studies (UDS) has sent out 4,135 students on a research and field-based training in deprived communities in some districts in the Northern Sector of the country.
The programme forms part of the University's mandate, which enjoins the students to stay and interact with the rural people to learn about their socio-economic problems and together with them, find solutions that would contribute to poverty reduction to accelerate national development.
Addressing the students before their departure to the various communities, the Vice- Chancellor of the UDS, Professor John Kaburise, said the programme was to break new grounds in development. He said it would afford the students and staff the opportunity to work closely with disadvantaged people in their communities to solve their developmental problems.
He reminded the students that the TTFPP was a compulsory academic programme and that, " no student can successfully graduate from the UDS without full participation in the programme".
The Vice-Chancellor said through the TTFPP the University had among other things, been able to expose both students and lecturers practically to the "nexus of development problems" of deprived communities in the country, particularly, in Northern Ghana.
Professor Kaburise said the programme had also been able to foster favourable attitudes in students towards working in deprived communities after the completion of their courses.
He said it has also placed the university in a better position to provide useful services through the exchange of knowledge and its application to address development needs of the people. He said the TTFPP had gained popularity because of its direct relevance to the government's decentralisation programmes, which "enjoins local government departments, agencies and local communities to initiate, plan and implement their own development programmes". Professor Kaburise said despite all the laudable achievements of the TTFPP, the problems of the UDS as an institution were affecting the programme's sustainability.
"The university is confronted with inadequate funding of the programme considering the growing number of students as against the limited resources," he said.
The Vice-Chancellor announced however that, the University had sourced a 200,000-dollar grant from the World Bank for the TTFPP programme this year.
He advised the students to develop a healthy social relationship with the communities in which they would carry out their research, adding: "You should also learn to respect their traditions and culture".
Dr Francis Bacho, Director of Community Relations of the UDS, said the students would be sent to 18 districts in Northern Region, Upper East Region, Brong-Ahafo Region and the Afram Plains.
In the Northern Region, the students would undertake their programme in the Savelugu/Nanton, Gushegu/Karaga, Zabzugu/Tatale, Nanumba North and South, West and Central Gonja, Sawla/Kalba/Tuna and Bole Districts.
In the Upper East Region, they would be posted to Bawku East District while they would work in the Kintampo North and South, Nkoranza, Techiman and Tein Districts in the Brong Ahafo Region. Dr Bacho said they students would spend eight weeks each in the communities after which they would write reports and make oral representations.