The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD), Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson, embarked on a three-day working visit to some Senior High Schools in the Akuapem North, South and the Okere Municipalities between 4th and 6th of May 2022.
This was the second leg of his tour to Senior High Schools in the Eastern Region. The purpose of the visit was to enable the Vice-Chancellor to familiarize himself with the schools and also introduce the UESD as a public University and its programmes to the management, staff and students of the second cycle schools within that enclave.
He was accompanied by the Deans of the School of Sustainable Development, (SSD) and the School of Natural and Environmental Science, (SNES), Prof. Anthony Amoah and Prof. Wiafe Debrah as well as some Heads of Unit at the University. In all, the Vice-Chancellor visited nine (9) schools within the three days.
On the first day, the team visited; Nifa Senior High School, Adukrom followed by Hark Mount Sinai Senior High School, Akropong and Adukrom Presbyterian Senior High School, Adukrom.
At Nifa Senior High School, the Vice-Chancellor and his team were greeted by an enthusiastic staff and students at a durbar held in the assembly hall. In a brief welcome address, the Assistant Headmaster in charge of Academics, Mr. Kojo Lucas expressed excitement about the visit. He said, they were enthusiastic to receive the UESD delegation. He said he hoped the visit will establish a cordial relationship between management of Nifa Senior High School and UESD.
In response, Prof. Nyarko-Sampson thanked the Headmaster, management and staff for the opportunity. He explained that apart from familiarizing himself with SHS’s in the Municipalities, it is also a way of bonding with them. He told the gathering that, the University is hoping to receive students for sites visits. He made mention of the ultra-modern science laboratory which UESD can boast of and is willing to open its doors to final year students, should there be the need for use of UESD’s laboratory for science education.
He later made a power-point presentation to the staff and students where he first spoke about the history of the UESD, including the Act establishing it,, its Mission,Vision and Core Values. Prof. Nyarko-Sampson listed programmes on offer at the two Schools running currently, the entry requirements and the job prospects. Prof. Nyarko-Sampson stated that UESD gives students a unique studying experience. For example, students are given the opportunity to major in two (2) programmes instead of the traditional single major practiced in most universities in Ghana. He cited programmes like BSc. Chemistry and Physics as well as BSc. Biological and Mathematical Sciences. This, he said, would open students to a wider scope of opportunities for the job market.
The Vice-Chancellor also displayed pictures of the University’s infrastructure which includes a one thousand five hundred and forty five-seater (1,545) capacity lecture theatre, a two-storey laboratory facility, an ultra-modern hostel facility with exotic fixtures and fittings and a multipurpose building which houses two cafeterias and a hall for conferencing and symposia.
He added that all the buildings in the university have in-built smart features which ensure efficient use of electricity. He also spoke about the University’s water treatment plant which collects and recycles it for use in the washrooms.
He said, plans are far advanced to install a solar panel manufacturing plant within the Somanya catchment area, to help reduce the unemployment rate in the Municipality, but also help people learn a skilled trade.
At Hark Mount Sinai Senior High School, Prof. Nyarko-Sampson and his team, held a meeting with the Headmistress, Mrs. Paulina Nyankah, and some management members of the school in her office before meeting the student body. He said, all the programmes offered at the University have been strategically designed in a way to equip students with leadership skills and values required for national development.
He said, UESD’s core values: HOPE – H (HONESTY), O (OPPORTUNITY), P (PERSEVERANCE), and E (ENTERPRISE) carry the promise of producing persons who have HOPE in themselves, exude HOPE and who are poised to give HOPE to the world with their knowledge and work ethics. The Vice-Chancellor and his team later interacted with the students and the Deans took turns to answer some questions.
In a brief discussion before meeting the students of Adukrom Presbyterian Secondary School, Prof. Nyarko-Sampson shared with the Assistant Headmaster in charge of Academics, Mr. Nathaniel Duku, and some management members of the school, some statistics from the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MoFAD) which shows that the Eastern Region contributes about 40 % of Ghana’s fish stock produced inland. He said inland fish farming is an aspect of Aquaculture Management, a programme which has been introduced in UESD.
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said, if the programmes are taken seriously by people in the Region, including students and farmers, the overall fish stock of the nation will soar. The UESD, he said, is willing to increase the knowledge base of the farmers within the Eastern Regional enclave by organizing training and symposia for them on best practices.
The Deans together with the Vice-Chancellor answered questions from the staff and students of the three schools visited. It ranged from cost of tuition and hostel fees, job prospects, clarification of some programmes, the entry requirements, scholarship for students, post graduate programmes for teachers and sandwich programmes.
The Dean of the School of Sustainable Development, Prof. Anthony Amoah, indicated that UESD is a strategically established University which is aimed at churning out professionals who are equipped with the know-how to solve problems pertaining the environment.
On tuition fees, he said, as a government-owned institution, fees charged are rates approved by Parliament like other public universities.
Responding to a question on opportunities for General Arts and Home Economics students, Prof. Nyarko-Sampson explained that Home Economics students also have opportunities to study at the UESD. He encouraged the students particularly the final year students, to make UESD their University of choice for a unique educational experience.
The other members of the VC’s team were; Mr. Akwasi Afram Agyekum-Admissions and Students Records, Ms. Grace Ampong-Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Daniel Ofori-Mintah-Community Engagement Projects and Innovations Unit,(CEPIU) and Ms. Barbara M. Yakubu-University Relations Office.