The chiefs and people of the Northern Region are up in arms against certain decisions affecting the University of Development Studies situated in the region.
In a press statement issued by a group that calls itself “Concerned Northern Region Youth and Chiefs,” the chiefs and people of the region expressed their “disgust and displeasure” against what they call the “murder of university education for the people of the Northern Region”.
The group listed three areas of concern to back its claims. These are “human resource, physical and or landed property and the programmes of UDS.” In the group’s belief, some persons in government and staff members of the UDS are scheming to shortchange the people of the Northern Region by ceding some human resource, property and programmes of the University to the erstwhile UDS campuses in Wa in the Upper West Region and Navrongo in the Upper East Region, both of which have been granted autonomy.
The group is therefore demanding the government takes steps to ensure that their concerns are addressed.
Among other demands, the group is asking government to ensure that the lecturers and programmes of UDS are not ceded to any university.
Also, the group wants all properties acquired in the name of UDS to remain the properties of UDS. While calling on government to develop the Yendi Campus of the UDS, the group also called on management of the University to “take urgent steps to continue running all its programmes in the Tamale and Nyankpala campuses while awaiting the development of the Yendi campus.”
Below is the full statement of the group:
PRESS STATEMENT BY CONCERNED NORTHERN REGION YOUTH AND CHIEFS, ON THE DELIBERATE ATTEMPT AND CAREFULLY WOVEN PLAN TO FRUSTRATE THE UNUVERSITY FOR DEVELOPENT STUDIES (UDS).
Members of the press, chiefs, representatives of youth groups, civil society organisations, ladies and gentlemen.
We have called you here today as concerned citizens of the Northern Region and as beneficiaries of the University for Development Studies to register our disgust and displeasure in what can be termed as a “murder of university education for the people of the Northern Region”.
After several years of agitations and demonstrations from our brothers in the Upper West and Upper East Regions to make the Wa and Navarongo campuses of the University for Development Studies autonomous, we the people of the Northern Region have always supported this move and were very happy and are still happy when the Government took steps to bring this to reality. This was because we saw that call as a genuine call and a call to increase the frontiers of university education in the North. Without any malice, the people of the Northern Region have always seen this move as part of a development agenda by Government and so we never saw the need to oppose any steps by the Government to realise this objective.
Following the decision by His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, the president of the republic of Ghana to grant approval and the subsequent enactment of Acts of parliament, the Wa and Navarongo campuses of UDS have since been established as new universities.
We wish to commend His Excellency the President and the Parliament of Ghana for such a bold step.
However, ladies and gentlemen of the press, we have learned from very reliable sources the deliberate attempt and a ploy and connivance of some elements in Government, some staff of the UDS, the management of SDD UBIDS and CKT UTAS to use several clandestine approaches to scuffle the growth and prospects of UDS. We have observed this ruthless, clandestine and sinister agenda to disadvantage UDS in three main areas. These areas are in the human resource, physical and or landed property and the programmes of UDS.
Whilst we find it troubling that no staff of UDS in Wa and Navorongo have been given an option to stay with UDS, we find the happening more bizarre and awkward in terms of UDS programmes and other properties.
First, it is shocking that the creation of the new universities, which is an intention to expand education in the North, seeks to dissipate the scarce resources of UDS to set up the new Universities. For instance, our attention has been drawn to this un-fair distribution in the case of the university landed property and guest house in Accra. We take strong exception to the sharing arrangements, since the UDS has already lost so much in terms of investment to the new universities.
In terms of the programmes, it is mind boggling to realize that, the UDS did not make adequate plans to continue its programmes like the other two new Universities in Wa and Navorongo. What is autonomy when the mother University’s wings are being clipped for the babies to grow? We think this is very unfair and defeats the sense of competitive growth and provision of tertiary education in the North Region. When Universities from the South of Ghana are expanding and building campuses to run all sorts of programmes, we find it a defeatist approach by the Government to allow UDS which has been in competition with many other Universities in the country to be denied the opportunity to run its programmes like any other University in the country because of infrastructure.
In the light of our concerns as patriots of the Northern Region, we the concerned youth of the Northern Region wish to make the following demands;
1. We wish to remind Government and management of SDD UBIDS and CKT UTAS that the UDS Act has not been amended and must be allowed to function to its fullest capacity without any hindrance.
2. We wish to request Government to ensure that, the lecturers and programmes of UDS are not ceded in any way or form to any university.
3. We wish to request Government as a matter of urgency, to develop the Yendi site of the UDS to cope with the challenges of the split.
4. We wish to request management of UDS to take urgent steps to continue running all its programmes in the Tamale and Nyankpala campuses while awaiting the development of the Yendi campus.
5. We wish to request Government to ensure that all properties acquired in the name of UDS remain as properties of UDS,
6. We wish to also request the transition team to be fair and ensure that UDS is not disadvantaged in anyway.
7. We request the university council to protect the integrity of the university and to ensure the speedy recovery in the wake of this separation.
It is still very fresh in our minds how UDS was established and we shall resist any injustice from any individual, group(s), or organization(s) that seeks to sabotage the University for Development Studies (UDS).
We are through this medium, appealing to His Excellency the President through the Minister for Education to intervene to ensure that UDS is not disadvantaged in the transition process.
We shall resist any unfair arrangement with all our strength and with all our might.
Education is a right and our right shall not be compromised for anything.
Thank you for coming.
Zaachi Youth Association
1. Media Houses
2. The Council Chairman
University for Development Studies
3. The Vice Chancellor
University for Development Studies
4. The Regional Minister
Northern Regional Co-Ordinating Council
5. The Regional Police Commander
7. Ndan Ya Naa Abubakari Mahama II
8. Nyalinbolgu Naa
9. Dagban Traditional Council
10. Nanumba Traditional Council
11. Dagban Forum (DF)
By a ghanahotissues.com writer
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