House passes E/R varsity law

Parliament has passed the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Bill, 2014, to create the legal framework for the institution to be established in the Eastern Region.

The university is to provide higher education, disseminate knowledge related to development in environment and agro-business, and create the needed environment to foster exchange of knowledge.

The Memorandum of the Bill noted that while there were already other public universities, some of which offered some related courses and programmes, there was no public university dedicated solely to research and disseminate knowledge in environment and agro-business.

“The establishment of the university would bring into focus the area of sustainable environment studies, and create an avenue for the creation of a centre of excellence in environment studies,” it said.

The bill, which was presented to the House by the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, has 40 clauses.

The university is to be established at Somanya, with campuses at Donkorkrom and other places in the Eastern Region, and would award degrees and other certificates.

The bill provides for the composition of a 15-member governing body, the establishment of an academic board, the appointment of a Chancellor, a Vice-Chancellor, and a Registrar, among others.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, was also in the House to respond to a number of questions.

To a question posed by Ursula Owusu, Member for Ablekuma West, as to steps being taken by the ministry to repair and maintain the central sewerage system in Dansoman Estate, Mr. Vanderpuije said the project was scheduled for completion in November, this year.

He said the Dansoman Estate Sewerage System was ceded to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly under the Accra Sewerage Improvement Project by the State Housing Company in 2007.

The Accra Sewerage Improvement Project (ASIP), is being financed by the African Development Bank with funding support of US$68 million and being implemented by the Government of Ghana.

“Under the project, the Dansoman Estates Sewerage System is to be rehabilitated and extended to non-sewered areas close to the sewerage system,” he said.

The Deputy Minister also answered questions on the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP), and said the programme was currently being reviewed to determine its impact and to make it more responsive to the current skills demands of the youth.

He said it would be realigned to the Local Economic Development Policy (LED), to ensure that the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies play a lead role in its implementation.

“As soon as the review is completed, Parliament shall be duly informed,” the deputy minister told the House.

By Yaw Kyei     

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