Feature Article of Friday, 22 June 2012
Columnist: Kpakpo, Laud
….The Way Forward
As a people of a common mother (USAG), we rise and fall together. The challenge of one is a headache for all.
The situation where students of the University for Development Studies (UDS) campuses other than Tamale, have to trek to Tamale to address some administrative challenges they do face is unpalatable and a very unfortunate scene to replay to you here. This situation places academic, financial and other grim inconveniences on students. For any student whose issue cannot be addressed in a day, it will thus require of him/her to sleep over till the issue is resolved; and who can imagine the cost and pain such a student will have to bear.
Some persons and civil societies that matter such as USAG, must show concern and push for a resolution of this issue. I therefore suggest the below measures as worthy of consideration inter alia;
1. Establishment of Central Administration Liaison Offices on other campuses.
These offices will handle issues for which students would have had to travel to Tamale to get it resolved and thus these offices will fill the administrative vacuum currently persisting. This will stop students from embarking on the precarious journey to Tamale, with the added benefits of students gaining their peace of mind to focus on their academics and the avoidance of the extra financial burden and other unforeseen challenges imposed on them.
2. Upgrading of the various campuses to College status.
In the University set up, there is the creation of sub-units to enhance both administrative and academic function. These units start from Centers, Institutes, Departments, Schools, and Faculties up to Colleges. Each of these comes with a degree of increased internal capabilities and self-reliance, including administrative autonomy. The College is the highest of these subunits and has the highest autonomy. Thus one of the best ways to solve this issue is for the governing council of UDS to put in place a clear strategic road map into developing each campus into a College status (academic and administrative wise). Thus the existing faculties on each campus become a College, enabling them to handle their individual issues.
3. Strong Technological Infrastructure
In this technologically driven world, ICT is a major tool used in solving many issues, more especially in addressing effectively and efficiently bureaucratic and administrative challenges. With the implementation of the right technology backed by the needed logistical infrastructures, challenges such as those faced by colleague students in the UDS could totally or partly be resolved tacitly. It is noteworthy however that the challenges faced by our colleagues in UDS are not only exclusive to them. Students in other universities are also facing similar and sometimes more daunting challenges. What is need of us as a people are commitment and truthfulness to our challenges. The battle is ours to win and there is no better time than now to do that.
If we are to win the race, leadership is very crucial in remedying such debilitating conditions and implementing a well thought-out solution. USAG as the mother umbrella body of universities must lead the ‘fight’ to address some, if not all, of the challenges of students. It is in leading such crusades that the relevance of the Association we love would be drummed home to institutional members. Indeed “Leadership is cause and all else is effect”.
LONG LIVE THE STUDENT FRONT, LONG LIVE USAG, LONG LIVE GHANA,
Laud Kpakpo, University of Ghana, Legon.