myJCR.com interviewed Mr. Derrick Osei-Poku, President of University Students’ Association of Ghana (USAG). Below is what ensued between the USAG President and Andrews Kwakwa Peprah (myJCR UCC).
Andrews Kwakwa Peprah (myJCR): Good morning once again.
Derrick Osei-Poku (DOP): Good morning.
myJCR: How is life?
DOP: Life is good.
myJCR: Alright… Please can you tell us who you are and a little about yourself?
DOP: I am Derrick Osei-Poku. Final year student of KNUST offering Political Studies. I am an old student of Prempeh College. What more do you want to know. I’m not too good at describing myself.
myJCR: Ok. Tell us a little about your beginning. .. where did you attend primary school and how was life then?
DOP: St. Leo International School. From there I went to KNUST JHS. Life is always better when one is a child. That’s why they’re the good old days.
myJCR: Did you hold any position in JHS or SHS?
DOP: Section Prefect in Junior High but no position in SHS.
myJCR: How was life at SHS?
DOP: I was an executive of the Writers and Debaters Club and Civic Club. The Prempeh College (PC) experience was rich. Meeting brilliant young people from varied backgrounds added to my quality of life. “Suban ne Nimdee” is an ideal I aspire to everyday as a result of PC. I felt terrible then, but looking back, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
myJCR: Well, can you tell us a little about your family?
DOP: Let’s skip the family part.
myJCR: Ok. Sorry for any inconvenience. Can you tell us a little about your parents?
DOP: (laughs)… No inconvenience there. My parents? My mother is a teacher. Strong woman. I am proud of her. My dad was a businessman who was into timber business. He passed on last year in August.
myJCR: Sorry for your loss. Accept our condolence. Have you held any position in KNUST and do you hold any now?
DOP: Thank you. Yes I do. I was appointed CASS SC Projects and Programmes Coordinator, KNUST NUGS JC Member, and College of Art and Social Sciences Student Council member. I am currently the USAG President.
myJCR: What is USAG all about?
DOP: USAG stands for University Students’ Association of Ghana. It’s a bloc under National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). USAG represents the university students under the umbrella of NUGS. Anything related to the welfare of the university student is part of our mandate. The University Students’ Association of Ghana (USAG) is the mother body for all universities (private and public) in Ghana. USAG has over 300,000 student membership. USAG is a non-political and a not-for-profit organization and does not discriminate (tribe/ethnicity, religion, race, etc).
USAG’s mission is to contribute our quota, as an academic and intellectual community, to the
national, continental, and global development agenda through constructive engagement with the people, agencies and organizations which have a stake (direct or indirect) in the socio-cultural,
economic and political growth, progress and transformation agenda.
myJCR: Brilliant. As President, what is your visions for USAG?
DOP: Simple. Making USAG better than I found it. Looking forward to see a financially strong and socially responsible USAG.
myJCR: Ok… How is your relationship with the NUGS President?
myJCR: Noted. What are some of the successes that you have chalked so far in your administration?
DOP: We’ve been focused on fixing the Association after a particularly rough transition period. Our plans are not yet fully materialized. Securing a proper office for the Association, petitioning the Deputy Minister of Education on giving universities an exemption on the “dumsor” during the exam period are some of them so far.
myJCR: Derrick what has been some of your challenges as USAG President and USAG as a whole?
DOP: Finances. That’s the problem.
myJCR: Then could you use this opportunity to say something to stakeholders?
DOP: Hahaha… It’s a more complex setup than you realize.
myJCR: Sorry I don’t understand that.
DOP: We just inherited a bad funding setup. It’s up to us the executives to change it. We remain committed to making sure that the interest of the university student is protected. We will continue to work with the local student bodies, authorities, and civil society as partners in development and count on their support to make the Association better.
myJCR: Ok…as the “head prefect” of all university students, what do you have for the student populace and the youth at large?
DOP: Hahaha, Head Prefect?… a position I never held… Well, we the students of today, are our nation’s hope. We see the ills of our society now. They are lessons to us. Our duty is to do our honest part and not to repeat the errors of today.
myJCR: Alright… Thanks for making time for myJCR.com. Would you like to use this medium to extend some greetings?
DOP: Yes. My warmest regards to all the member institutions of USAG first of all. To the local NUGS President of KNUST, Evelyn Mutinta Sappor, and her team, Gideon Amankwah and Mohammed Mikdad of University of Ghana. Also to my executives, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with.
myJCR: Thank you Derrick, stay blessed.
DOP: You’re welcome Senior. God bless you.