Govt’s Promise To Build Volta University Is On Course – Prof. Dede

The Chairman of the team constituted by government to produce a plan to roll out the new universities that will be located in the Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions

says the team has presented its report to government and is awaiting an onward presentation of a bill to parliament for the law that will set up the universities to be passed.

Prof. Samuel Sefa Dedeh believes without the law that establishes the universities, “any activity that is not in reference to it (the law) becomes difficult.

I guess that is the difficulty now, so we need to get the law up in place and based on that we can get other activities running. ”

Speaking to Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Joy FM ’s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, Prof. Dedeh said government needs to put certain key issues in place for the university to work efficiently.

“The physical infrastructure, the master plan of the area that currently I am told is actually a bush, [is ready] , but we’ve done the mapping of the area, we’ ve done a master plan of the university – this has been prepared.

We are going to look at how to get into the construction [stage] ,” he said.

He said among the issues that need to be addressed before the university can start operating are the university curriculum and the faculty.

Some residents of the Volta region have, in recent times, accused the Mills-led administration of reneging on its promise to establish a university in the region as the land earmarked for the facility has become a forest.

President Mills earlier this year cut the sod for work to begin on the university. But Prof. Dedeh has reassured residents of the region that the university will be established soon.

“I think we need to assure the people of Volta Region and all concerned that the promise of government to establish the university is on course.

There is a process we need to follow and I can understand their frustration wanting to see the first batch of students come in but I will rather we have 300 students with very happy lecturers working in an environment that fosters academic learning, ”

Prof. Dedeh said, adding “we should not rush to just admit students into some temporary structures and start something to create confusion. ”

Prof. Dedeh expressed his belief that government has secured funding for the construction of the universities even though he fell short of providing details on the funds.

He further stressed the need for the university authorities to own the university lands to forestall possible future litigation that might arise in the future over the property.

Prof. Dedeh explained that “in the light of the issues about land ownership… we have recommended that this land should be purchased outright and the university should own title to the land. ”

According to him, government must follow certain processes including getting the law passed before the universities can be fully established and that in the coming days the Vice Chancellor and other leaders of the university in the Volta region will be appointed to look into issues of curriculum accreditation and faculty as the infrastructure is also taken care of by government and its donor partners.

On his part, the deputy Minister of Education, Mahama Ayariga told Joy New’s Araba Koomson that there is no question about President Mills’ commitment to establishing the universities as the sod cutting ceremony clearly proves his desire to see the projects come into fruition.

In relation to funding, Mr Ayariga said government had secured some funding from its Chinese partners for the projects and there was an allocation made for the project in the 2011 budget from the GETFund, insisting therefore that the delay is not as a result of lack of funds. He said temporary structures have been made available to ensure that the universities can start operating as soon as the law is passed.

Story by Derick Romeo Adogla/
Myjoyonline.com/Ghana
8/2/2011

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