The University of Environment and Sustainable Development, UESD, Somanya in the Eastern Region on the 31st of October, 2022 deployed its first (1st) batch of students into Sixteen (16) communities around Somanya, Dodowa and Asutsuare under its Community Based Experiential Learning (COBEL) programme.
The COBEL programme is a requirement for level 200 students of the University aspiring to level 300. During the COBEL, the students will profile their communities under the supervision of their Lecturers.
The seventy-six (76) students undertaking this exercise are the pioneers of UESD, offering programmes including; Sustainable Development, Environment and Public Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Water Resources Development and Geography and Earth Science.
The five-weeks COBEL programme is under the auspices of the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor in conjunction the Community Engagement, Projects Innovations Unit (CEPIU) of the UESD.
The communities the students will be residing are: Onumako, Okper Oduglase, Klo Begoro, Buenyone, Asutuare, Obawale, Tsotsunya, Manya Jorpanya, Kordiabe, Kabose, Akorde 1 & 2, Togome, Apetorkope, Holokpui and Osu Wem.
In his address to the students in the Auditorium of the Multi-Purpose building before they were dispatched into the communities, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson said, Community Service is an extension of their academic work; thus, supervision and assessment will be conducted periodically.
He explained that the programme, is a three (3) credit hours course that will require participation and hard-work to achieve it. Students are expected to identify problems in the community, conduct feasibility studies and provide remedies to curb them. Their research should impact positively on the livelihood of the community they find themselves in.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson advised the students to desist from activities that will tarnish their image and that of the University.
He also charged them to be ambassadors and torch bearers to project the image of UESD and tasked the students to be role models and agents of change to their peers in the community in which they will be undertaking their project and be neutral and desist from unnecessary arguments.
The Vice-Chancellor urged the students to exude the University’s Core values of HOPE, meaning Honest, Opportunity Perseverance and Enterprising.
They should exhibit Honesty in their activities, identify Opportunities, Persevere in bringing solutions to the problems they identify and be Entrepreneurial.
He charged the students to work with the appropriate authorities and opinion leaders to identify problems of study and proffer solutions.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said, he expects them to have acquired much experience from the programme that would impact in their studies.
In an interview, the students expressed excitement about their participation in the programme. Some of the students revealed that, this will be their first time of living in rural communities and it will give them the opportunity to see life from the other side and they look forward to having a feel of what they have been learning in lectures.
They expressed appreciation to the Management and staff of the University for putting together the programme.
Present at the ceremony were the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Edward Wiafe-Debrah, the Dean of Students, Dr. (Mrs) Daniella Delali Sedegah and some members of faculty.
The students were put in groups, accompanied by their supervisors and dispatched into the communities.