Calling On President Mahama, To Execute His Agenda Of Creating Autonomous Universities Out Of UDS

Ladies and gentlemen from the press, we send you warm greetings from the teaming youth of Upper West Region.
Our attention has been drawn to a publication by a cross section of youth in Tamale as published in the Finder News Paper on Monday 20 th April, 2015. The said publication hiding under the excuse of asking for broader consultation kicked against the much lauded move of Government to elevate the Wa, Navrongo and Nyankpala Campuses of U. D. S. into autonomous Universities.

Bewildered by how any development oriented youth could stand against such a promising growth pole, we the teaming youth of the Upper West Region are distancing ourselves from that stand as it is only parochial, inward looking and not reflective of the universal thought of the development loving youth of Northern Ghana. We indeed have every good reason to think that Mr. Mumin Mohammed and the said group were only misinformed of the whole policy and by that caused to dance to the tune of a handful of the current beneficiaries of the status quo who might have surreptitiously instigated them against the policy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is worth noting that apart from the schizophrenic growth that the 23 year old public University might be suffering, it’s current policy in which all the three satellite campuses depends solely on the central campus in Tamale, is responsible for the litany of challenges that confronts the university.

It is sordid to note that in this 21st century, where decentralization is seen as a potent tool to accelerate development and supplant the conundrum of unnecessary bureaucratic and administrative bottlenecks at private and public entities, same cannot be said of our beloved U. D. S.

It is common knowledge that students, lecturers, administrators and the likes in U.D.S spend a chunk of their contact and work hours travelling amidst daunting challenges from satellites campuses to the central campus in Tamale just to perform trivial functions such as signing and endorsement of documents. Apart from the invaluable academic time lost, it is also common knowledge that several illustrious sons and daughters in this country met their sadden demise in such ventures.

Among several other challenges, the multi campus nature of the University puts a strain on lecturers who have to deliver lectures on campuses in all the three regions of Northern Ghana. This adversely affects teaching and learning as students in the various campuses compete to have lecturers. It is not also untrue that, the current system under which all the satellites campuses depends on subventions from Central Administration in Tamale for manning the various campuses as well as the disbursement of the University’s internally generated funds accounts for the stagnation in the development of physical and human resources. A case in point is the fact that, satellite campuses have not yet received any disbursement from the Central Administration to run the campuses for the 2014/2015 academic year though the year is almost ending.

It is in this uncertainty that we find relief in his Excellency John Dramani Mahama’s vision of establishing autonomous universities in each region, to broaden access and improve quality in tertiary education as “a stitch on time to safe nine”. We applaud this heroic move by government and see it as a sine qua non to broaden access and improve the quality education in the various regions. The decision undoubtatedly will come with unprecedented development that will significantly reduce poverty and enhance livelihood.

In this light, we express our optimism and trust in the competence and experience of the ten member committee headed by the renowned Dr. Mrs. Christine Amoako-Nuamah, to do due diligence to the task ahead of them. We are sure that their exposure and deep knowledge in higher education, grants them the required locus to do this work diligently in the service of mother Ghana.

In that same vein, we as youth in the Upper West Region wish to use this conduit to warmly congratulate and applaud the most revered Upper West Regional House of Chiefs who took a bold step to knock on the doors of government to fulfill its manifesto promise by granting the Upper West Region an autonomous University. Their resolve to bequeath such a legacy to the region reflects their innate desire to salvage this region from a quagmire of poverty and underdevelopment. We affirm our support for our chiefs and call solemnly on government not to renege on this gallant move but to expedite actions at bringing this novel dream to fruit ship.

In conclusion, we wish to remind our brother Mr. Mumin Mohammed and his collogues that, the creation of new Universities is the prerogative of government based on the man power needs of the country and the technical advice from the National Council for Tertiary Education. Beyond that, it is within government’s vision to broaden the human resource base in this country, increase access to tertiary institutions and provoke development that, it seeks to establish universities in all regions of the country. We therefore cannot comprehend how such an act of development can fester rift or bring acrimony among the chiefs and people of the three northern regions as purported by Mr. Mumin and his group. We are therefore appealing to all the good people within the U.D.S. catchment area to unanimously embrace the idea of creating autonomous universities out of U.D.S.

Thank you.

Puo-ire Prosper
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