Dodoma university needs to have sound sports facilities
It goes without saying that the newly established University of Dodoma (UDOM) will be the best of its kind in the entire East and Central African region.
The institution whose six colleges are artistically scattered along the Chimwaga hillside is expected to accommodate a total of 40,000 students is in its finishing stages of construction which includes the administration block, modern lecture theatres and seminar rooms as well as big libraries will be the best place for local and foreign students to accrue their education with ease and comfort.
Apart from the academic oriented buildings, the UDOM establishment has taken trouble of constructing a number of buildings intended to cater for other social services, from very good hostels for the students accommodation, high class cafeteria fitted with top class kitchen gadgets as well as a very well planned building for health services.
For any shallow observation, the planning and the ongoing development of the university would appear perfect.
I say it would appear perfect because most of those who are involved in curriculum development in the Third World countries are most concerned with buildings, books and in rare cases laboratories. All these items are properly addressed at the UDOM.
However if one makes a close range observation, he would realise that something is amiss in the UDOM establishment and development.
The planners have taken a very good care of the classes, cafeterias, libraries and accommodation facilities in all the six colleges of the UDOM but seemingly, they forgot that the students and staff would need places for exercising and recreation.
Sports facilities establishment seems to have been forgotten by whoever planned the development of the UDOM.
Of course, I don’t intend to make the planners shoulder all the blame because it has been a long lived tradition for sports and recreation, to be sidelined not only by curriculum developers but also by urban planners.
Despite the existence of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Dodoma, the town experiences an acute shortage of open spaces for sports and recreation. Open areas in the entire town of Dodoma are countable and belong to some few educational institutions.
The Jamuhuri Stadium has ceased to be a pleasant place where one could go and train in the morning and evening due to its dilapidated state.
The Kilimani soccer ground, has been turned into an area for motor vehicle driving practice taht takes place from morning to dawn.
This practice has caused a lot of destruction in the entire landscaping of the playground.
The Saint John’s University’s sports field which used to be very attractive during the old days of Mazengo Secondary School, is in a very pathetic shape such that it calls for immediate intervention.
The only decent places for training sports other than soccer in Dodoma are the newly built sports complex sports court of the Open University of Tanzania (OUT); Dodoma Regional Centre which can accommodate basketball, handball, netball and volleyball and the Roman Catholic Youth Centre which can accommodate basketball and netball.
Arguably, UDOM would have been the right place for establishment of appropriate sports facilities in all of its six colleges so that it becomes a suitable place for other institutions to emulate.
Lack of proper sports facilities in its six colleges contrasts the entire modernity of UDOM as compared to the old ones.
Now that the UDOM is almost in full swing it is not too late for the esteemed authority to establish sports facilities in all its six very well built colleges.
With the present political will to enhance the nation’s educational excellence, this can easily be done.
Syllersaid Mziray is a lecturer-cum-soccer coach