The University for Development Studies (UDS) says it has deployed 6,710 students to 610 rural communities’ in the Northern and Upper west regions as parts of its Third Trimester Field Practical Programme (TTFPP).
The TTFPP designed by the university is to bring students from different faculties or schools together to live and work in selected communities.
The flagship programme enables the students of the communities to work together to identify development challenges and opportunities to formulate specific interventions to address them.
A total of 2,739 from Level 100 are to be deployed to 249 communities in all 11 municipal and districts in the Upper West Region. Already 3,971 level 200 students are currently in 361 communities in Northern region. The level 300 students are back to their respective departments on the campuses or on industrial attachments to undertake a mandatory 8 weeks practical training.
The students whilst at the rural communities learn new ideas and are exposed to the realities of rural life to help them better appreciate rural development issues.
Vice Chancellor of the University for Development studies Prof Gabriel Ayum Teye in a speech read on his behalf by the Pro Vice chancellor, Prof. Seidu Al-hassan underscored the importance of the TTFPP saying it is mandatory for all students adding no undergraduate student can successfully graduate from the university without fully participating in it.
Prof. Teye said the objective of the TTFPP is directly related to the rural development policy. The task undertaken by the students in the communities are aimed at promoting local development and ultimately improve the standard of living of the rural populace in a sustainable manner, he noted
He said the programme has gained recognition within and outside country adding that they have been requests from and expression of interest from foreign institutions for their students. Students from Germany and the USA have participated in the programme in the recent past. Prof, Teye said due to the uniqueness of the programme a university from Senegal was at the university recently to study the concept with the intention of implementing same in their institution
He said the main challenge in the execution of the programme is the inadequate funding in the midst of growing students numbers.
He appealed to stakeholders especially the Government, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Non Governmental Organizations and institutions, private organizations and well meaning individuals to support the UDS in cash or in kind to sustain an expand the programme the unique academic and developmental programme.