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Opinions of Monday, 11 April 2016

Columnist: Ashitey, Emmanuel Amarh

Why University of Ghana Accra city campus must not vote

Why University of Ghana Accra city campus and Distance Education students must not vote on main campus SRC elections if UG want to avoid Congestion of Halls.


The sad story of this two Accra city campus students and Distance Education students as SRC must be known, I am a student and a law abiding student of University of Ghana, a believer of the current Vice Chancellor Professor Ernest Aryeetey Visions of making university of Ghana world class university. I believe in fair system and right of students. According to Constitution of the Republic of Ghana CHAPTER FIVE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS 12.

(1)The fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in this chapter shall be respected and upheld by the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all other organs of government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Ghana, and shall be enforceable by the Courts as provided for in this Constitution.
(2)Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.

The above chapter state it clear that the right of every person must be ensured. Student at Accra city campus are non resident who do not have any right to attend lectures at university of Ghana main campus legon, but must be at city campus through out their 4 years academic program and the same thing applies to distance education students. The university made it clear to students admitted to Accra city campus and Distance Education on their admission letters that they are not entitled to halls and must not attend lectures at legon campus but only at Accra city campus and Distance Education centers .

Recently all the various halls of residence issued notices of sacking all Accra city campus students who are in their halls and same thing was applied to Distance education students because they are not allowed to sleep at any university of Ghana halls, the halls were made for residents on legon campus but not for city campus and Distance Education centers since those two campuses are far from the main university and the students have been placed at distance education centers and Accra city campus.
The issue about making Accra city campus SRC a JCR contradict the purpose of this two campuses and the vision of having this two campuses. The main vision of the university for putting up Accra city campus is clearly stated below

University of Accra City Campus

The External Degree Centre of the Accra Workers' College which later become known as Accra City Campus was established as the external degree wing of the University of Ghana, in the 1963-1964 academic session. It has been charged with the responsibility of offering, on a part-time basis, the courses which were available to full-time students of the University of Ghana. It is a non-residential and fee-paying Campus of the University.(http://acc.ug.edu.gh/index.php/about-us/about-city-campus.html)
The main purpose for establishing Distance education programme is stated below
Distance Education (SCDE) is to pursue academic programmes and activities towards the realization of the potential growth that exists for investing in the expansion of adult, continuing and distance education programmes which would extend the reach of the University to student populations in formats which the traditional face-to-face classroom learning cannot provided (http://scde.ug.edu.gh/dean/welcome) also fee paying.
Distance education is run across the ten regions of Ghana by the university and if this students are allowed to vote in this year election then some of them have to travelled from upper East Wa,Temale , Ho etc to come to university of Ghana legon to vote and the same thing applied to Accra city campus students.

The questions we must ask ourselves is that if now this students from Accra city campus and Distance Education students are allowed to vote on main campus then the vision of the Vice Chancellor about decongestion of the halls will not work and soon students from Accra city campus and Distance Education students will start to demand for hall of residence and 10 students will be sleeping in rooms made for only 3 students and congestion will start.

I humbly request that they university authorities discourage this idea of allowing University of Ghana Accra city campus students to vote on main campus elections which has nothing to do with the interest of Accra city campus students and Distance Education students instead of those students voting on their campuses to keep the vision of students participation in their activities alive.
Local SRC of Accra city campus have not received any money which is dues paid by Accra city campus students as part of their fees to run students activities which the university of Ghana encourage just because the right of this students to remain a local src body to seek the warfare of their students are being taking away from them. It is our vision that the university of Ghana will be world class university but if we allow students who have been placed as distance education and Accra city campus students are allowed to travel from different part of Ghana to come and vote to somebody has nothing to do with their campus activities and challenges.
As a student of this great university for the pass three years I have never come in contact with the Dean of students of university of Ghana before just because the local SRC at Accra city campus collect all the challenges facing us as students then go to the Dean of students on our behalf to address issues. The former UG-ACC SRC president Mr Andrews was able to get 6 brand new computers, 200 plastic chairs for students at Accra city campus to use for tutorials and a whole lot. What has Mr. Fobi current SRC president of university of Ghana who is encouraging students from Accra city campus and Distance Education students to come to legon campus to vote done for Accra city campus and Distance Education students. Has he even visited this campus before this semester or last semester.

This academic year 2016 / 2017 most students at Accra city campus and Distance Education students complained about smell of the washrooms was bad and need some basic items and since there is no money from the Dean of students to Accra city campus SRC to provide those basic materials to the washrooms so that student will feel comfortable has keep the place with bad smell.
I really want to find out what happens to the SRC dues paid by Distance education students and Accra city campus students, since we have been told by our elected UG-ACC SRC president Mr Delali that there is no money coming from the Dean of students to accra city campus.
What has The SRC president Mr. Fobi and His executives from main campus done for distance education students this academic year 2016/2017, does Mr. Fobi and his executives even knows the number of challenges distance education students are going through across the centers in the country as distance education students.

From the university of Ghana Junior members hand book.

JUNIOR COMMON ROOM (JCR):

There is a Junior Common Room in each Hall of
Residence to which every student in statu pupillari and attached to the Hall is a member.

The JCR has its own constitution. It elects its governing body of officers who seek to protect the interests of junior members of the Hall and provide cultural, social and sporting activities for the Hall. The JCR of a Hall, through its officers, maintains relations with JCRs of other Halls and is a recognised channel of communication between junior members and the Hall authorities. The revenue of the JCR is derived from students’ contributions and contributions from the University through the Hall Council.
From they above there is no way UG-ACC SRC and Distance Education SRC can be changed to JCR since we pay SRC dues and we don't have any halls to generate revenue from our members to run affairs of students, both students from Accra city campus and Distance Education students are non resident, how will this students be made to pay JCR dues since non of the students sleep in any hall from City campus.

I humbly pled with the university authorities to ensure that the local SRC of both city campus and Distance Education students are maintained in order to discourage students from coming to lectures at main campus, instead of going to city campus and Distance Education centers to have their lectures.
May God bless university of Ghana.
Emmanuel Ashitey
0540981328