The University for Development Studies (UDS) has dispatched 3,954 students to various communities in the Northern, Savannah, North East and Oti regions, to undertake a community-based education service.
The students, deployed to 18 districts in the four regions, are expected to take part in the University’s Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP) for a period of about seven weeks, to identify developmental challenges within the host communities.
The TTFPP forms part of the academic activities of UDS and seeks to blend academic work with community life by helping students to understand and develop favourable attitudes towards living and working in deprived communities.
Before they were dispatched, the students were taken through an orientation in Bimbila last Monday, to prepare them for the task ahead.
The Vice Chancellor of UDS, Professor Seidu Al-hassan, addressing the students, said reports written by students at the end of their stay in the communities over the years had served as primary source of data for some municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) in drawing up their development plans.
Professor Al-hassan, therefore, admonished the students to generate credible data to write comprehensive reports to help in effective development planning towards addressing challenges in the communities.
He also advised them to make positive impacts by assisting in community services in the areas of teaching school pupils, health care and environmental sanitation among others in their host communities.
Prof. Al-hassan further urged them to abide by the laid down rules and regulations governing the TTFPP, saying, “you are required to exhibit higher professional conduct and discipline while you live and study, as well as being ambassadors of the UDS brand in your communities”.
The Nanumba North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Abdulai Yaquob, commended the leadership of the university for instituting the TTFPP, and said most district assemblies had benefited from the reports written by students in their short and medium term development planning.
“The communities you are being deployed to, possess a wide range of relevant indigenous information and you have to work with the community structures and members in general to generate ideas, coordinate their thoughts and then present the issues and facts in an intellectual and acceptable manner for the attention of duty bearers for further intervention,” he noted.
A BSc Social Change Communication student, Mumuni Yunus, who had been deployed to the Adamkpa community in the Krachi West District in the Oti Region, told the Daily Graphic that he was anxious but also excited and looking forward to a successful programme.
“It is both academic and social service, so I am a bit anxious, but I am looking forward to make the most out of the opportunity,” he said.