The University of Environmental and Sustainable Development bill 2014 was passed in parliament on 7th February 2017 with the main purpose of specializing in environmental studies and agriculture.
The university was also to provide courses in urban architecture, natural resources and environmental economics, environmental policy and environmental science to also feature key areas of study.
The university will be a multi campus institution with the main campus supposed to be on the site of Somanya and the second campus on the site of Donkorkrom in the Afram Plains also in the Eastern Region.
Despite losing elections, president Mahama returned to dig the ground for the commencement of the project to fulfill his promise made as part of his 2016 campaign thereby earning for himself the name ‘promise fulfilling president’.
Barely ten months after the bill have been passed officially in parliament and the ground digging at Somanya, it is alleged that the second campus of the university supposed to be in Donkorkrom is being moved to Bunso-Kyebi to be précised.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who happens to be at the center of these allegations explained he have undoubtable and credible information that government have changed the siting of the Donkorkrom campus of the University of Environmental and Sustainable Development to Bunso-Kyebi despite the sod cutting by the former president.
Many questions have popped up as to where exactly the university could be sited if this allegation should be true. Looking around, all fingers point at the only already existing university at the area, University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies which happens to be similar to the upcoming ones.
The land on which the university is sited currently was given to government for lease by the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional council for a period of hundred 100 years which expired in 2004 but still had government institutions such as Cocoa board, cocoa college and plant genetics sited on it.
After the expiring of the lease the Akyem Abuakwa traditional council being owners of land decided to partner with government but will use their part as university and that was how the university started.
The university is currently running two courses in two faculties .i.e. faculty of Agric. and rural development and the faculty of environment and conservation. Each of the faculties has two programs. Under the faculty of Agric and rural development is 1st degree program, BSc in sustainable agric. and under environmental and conservation is BSc in environmental science and management.
Each faculty has a dean of students which is currently been led by Mr. Francis Awuotwe the acting dean of students; the school has a rector who happens to be the head of the university and a registry containing the administrative staff.
The school has a total of 17 teachers. 8 of them work as full time lectures and 9 also work as part time lectures for the academic side, 80% of them are living on campus with good accommodation but it can still be improved.
Their lab facilities like any other university is not where they want it to be though, but then the students are able to do the basic things that any other school lab can do but when it comes to other complicated analysis they will have to rely on other institutions like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water research and Minerals Commission and the Standards boards.
Lack of teaching and learning kits like overhead projectors, books in their libraries etc. Even though the school subscribes to other international libraries such as the inter library science and the rest they still need more books.
Not to talk of enrolment which is also a thing of wary, according to authorities the school’s enrolment have fluctuated over the years. At times there is a marginal increase and at times it goes down but on average one can conclude that enrolment is not all that encouraging.
The main vision of the university is to be an institution that is a catalyst, to speed up understanding in issues of environment and Agric in terms of teaching research and in terms of environmental sustainability practices.
This vision of the school seems to be one of the key issues confronting the world community today. Their vision talks clearly about food security, preserving our natural resources, protecting our environment etc.
When you take Ghana for instance, people see Agric as a job for the illiterate to the extent that when people do Agric they are expected to go sit in the office whiles others also don’t really know what environmental science is.
The school currently lacks a school bus which is really affecting movement of the students. The only bus the school ever had donated by the former president J.E.A. Mills has broken down for some time now making mobilization difficult for students.
It’s very disheartening to know that such a school has no stand by generating plant which can supply them with light in case of lights out.
Notwithstanding all these setbacks, the school has enough classrooms, and since enrolment is low the lectures are able to get enough time for the students.
Authorities have explained that the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council with the university council i.e. those running the university in terms of the national policy or the professional body that runs the university have made over chest to government to considering their university as an alternative but there has been no response yet.
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