Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, the Overlord of Waala Traditional, Area has appealed to President Akufo-Addo to listen to their long standing plea for the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) to be granted autonomy.
“The seeming delay in getting us the long deserving autonomous university only leaves us at the mercy of some authorities of the University’s Central Administration who are bent on rendering the Wa Campus poor of its programmes,” he said.
Naa Pelpuo made the plea when the President paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Wa as part of his two-day tour of the Upper West Region.
“Your Excellency, some recent move by the authorities to continue to dismember the Wa Campus by transferring many of its programmes to Tamale nearly got the youth of the region onto the streets, but for the timely intervention of the Regional Minister,” he said.
Naa Pelpuo also expressed worry that the conversion of the Wa Polytechnic into a Technical University still hanged in the balance.
Apart from that, the Rector of the Polytechnic had been in a protracted dispute with the Polytechnic Council, the general administration and the lecturers since his investiture earlier this year.
“We need you to intervene in this tussle to save the Polytechnic from imminent collapse”, the Paramount Chief of the Waala Traditional Area appealed.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the people of the region for the support and said his visit was to enable him to update himself with the concerns of the people in each region in order to guide the actions of his government.
He said the introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy attracted 90,000 more students in its first year of implementation, adding that this year the figure would double to 180,000 more students.
President Akufo-Addo also hinted that 8,000 more teachers would be recruited to help teach the increasing number of students at the SHS level and urged parents to ensure they enrolled their wards in school to benefit from the opportunity.
Responding to the UDS Wa campus autonomy issue, President Akufo-Addo said the University was started during former President Kufuor’s era and that it would be good if granting of the autonomy also happened in his era.
On the Wa Polytechnic impasse, the President said he would surely do something about it through the Minister of Education.
President Akufo-Addo later inspected an on-going youth centre project in Wa after which he commissioned an Amatrol Teaching and Learning System Laboratory which was funded by the Ministry of Education/Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) Ghana.