ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT STUDIES, BUNSO
APPEAL FOR SUPPORT
The target date for the proposed college to commence academic work is October 2011.
With regard to construction of academic facilities, thankfully the structures that the Cocoa College occupied and used as educational institution are available and suitable for the facilities enumerated above. These buildings will be used for hostels, classrooms and laboratories, library and offices, pending proper planning and construction of permanent buildings on the campus.
Rehabilitation and modification of these buildings which have been abandoned for almost three decades now are therefore being carried out. Procurement of items of equipment in the form of furniture, books, computers, machines, and other household and office appliances is however yet to be tackled.
We anticipate that revenue from school fees will be below the normal average for a new institution such as ours since student enrolment is not expected to be high initially: the college being new, private and science-based at that. Besides, it is envisaged that initially the majority of students will come from the immediate surrounding towns and villages in the Eastern Region with poor financial background. Under the circumstances therefore not only can fees not be fixed commercially at the beginning but also the unit cost of operations of the college will be high until in the future when the institution becomes more attractive to be able to enrol many students. This is to say that in the new college, school fees will have to be subsidised initially. In addition, the new institution has to be provided with a good financial base so as to be able to operate its recurrent and capital budgets from the beginning without being required to rely on income from fees as its main source of revenue.
There exist in Okyeman Traditional authority, government and quasi-government institutions like the CSIR- Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute at Bunso, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana at Tafo, the Agricultural Research Centre of the University of Ghana at Kade and the CSIR- Oil Palm Research Institute at Kusi - all of which are engaged in activities involving agriculture and environmental practices in one way or the other. It is envisaged that this new college would grow in stature before long on the shoulders of these institutions and lead a process of integrating them into a veritable educational hub for environmental studies and practices in Ghana - generating knowledge and expertise in this topical subject of dwindling global environmental resources with its myriad of climatic consequences.
This is a private initiative of the Okyeman Traditional Council, the implementation of which is far above the resources of the Council and needs contribution of the state, organisations and private individuals both home and abroad who uphold and advocate the ideals of environmental conservation, to establish the college.