UDs gears up to its 2018/2019 Solemn academic reopening
‘We hope to ensure that all programs that we are running are actually financially viable’
Dschang, UDs/SIC-08/11/18. In preparation of the forth coming 2018/2019 academic year slated for Friday, 9th November 2018, the Communication unit carried out an interview with the Deputy Vice chancellor in charge of Teaching, Professionalization and the Promotion of ICTs of the University of Dschang, Prof Mpoame Mbida on the level of preparedness, challenges and projections for the new academic year. Here are some excerpts of the brief exchange;
SIC: Hours from now we are going to have the solemn ceremony for the re-opening of the 2018/2019 academic year. Can you give us an appraisal, in a nutshell, of the 2017/2018 academic year?
Prof Mpoame: Ok thank you very much. The last academic year was a very fruitful year. As you know we received a new faculty; the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences and were able to finish the year as planned in our academic calendar. As you know the prime activity in a university is teaching and training, so as far as teaching is concerned, we were able to hold our exams on time get the results and issue the academic documents like transcripts and attestations. So I think it was a very fruitful year and I am optimistic that this year will be the same or better.
SIC: Sir, the year was fruitful but it did not end without some difficulties. Can you enumerate some of these difficulties and how they were tackled?
Prof Mpoame: To be honest, the difficulties were firstly financial because we need equipment; we need a number of facilities (materials) to conduct our teaching, our research and all other activities that had to be conducted. We also had limits in terms of infrastructure; I think that the budget was our major limitation. So as far as this infrastructural constraint is concerned, I think all the Deans and the Directors of schools have been able to cope, each of them using their experience and all sorts of tactics to make sure that the students actually get at least 95% of their programs covered. So it is a matter of two or three faculties, sharing halls and amphitheatres. Thus, I think that was the main problem we had and unfortunately we still have that problem this year. We are still going to be working to make sure that we tackle the problem. In addition to what was done last year, this year what we think we will do is to make sure that all the programs that we are running are actually financially viable. It looks like we may have to reduce the number of programs, what we usually call teaching unit because we saw that last year in some of the faculties, we would have programs running with only two or three students, using a room that would have been given to another program that is running with about fifty students. So the scheduling of courses in the various rooms will still be a major problem.
SIC: Any message as far as the new academic year is concerned especially to the students?
Prof Mpoame: Well I wish to renew what the Vice-Chancellor himself has been telling the students and staff. You know, last week we visited all the faculties and schools on campus and during those visits, the Vice Chancellor has called on students to be disciplined and to work, work, and work. To the staff, (teaching and non-teaching staff) we know they have problems (financial problems; they have not been paid some of the money they are due) but the Rector said all efforts will be made such that they get their due but everyone has to understand that the financial constraints are not only in the UDs but are nationwide. So everybody has to try to be patient. Interview transcribed by Mme Tume