Mr. Chairman, Hon Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang, Vice Chancellors and other members of Staff Present, Distinguished Members of the Council of Independent Universities, Partners in Education, Students, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Morning.
Thank you for offering me the opportunity to share some thoughts on the 9th Anniversary of the Council of Independent University (CIU) of Ghana on the theme “Private University as partners in National Development”. I am glad this important discourse is taking place amongst no other group but the Council, which has oversight over the activities of private universities in Ghana.
As partners in education, taking stock of our contributions and impact periodically is one sure way we can improve on the services we provide to the citizen. We are crucial to national development because we train the human resource capital requirements of the Country.
Countries like Singapore that has recently been in our news for all the right education reasons have transformed their country mainly on the backbone of a well-developed, highly productive human capital base.
The challenges we face as a nation in all phases of our development and the slow pace at which we are developing as compared to colleagues like Malaysia and Singapore is fundamentally because of the quality of our human capital.
As I set off for this program and thinking deeply through the theme I asked myself;
As providers of education are we reforming our content and methods fast enough to be able to produce graduates with relevant skills for national development
In a high speed technological era of the 21st century are we producing graduate equipped with skills that makes them equally competitive home and abroad in today’s global village.
What is our role in reducing the high levels of graduate unemployment?
Are we training graduates who still think like my father or graduate who want to be the goggle of America and Ali Baba of Asia.
What is our role in ensuring that graduates from our school possess high ethical values.
How are our products communicating to the job market through their work ethics, performance and contributions?
I understand that I may not have 40 years of working experience like many other providers of this very important service, but I know that working life comes to a total stop when something as minor a rain pour happens on a working day, I know that many young employees I deal with will quickly run back to me with the its can’t be done attitude rather than let’s try this approach, I know that young graduates have a very lose interpretation on time and that when I have had to attend their events I have reached 30 minutes earlier, and waited another 3 hours to get the event started.
How are we, as important partners in national development training our graduates to understand that it’s not possible in a 21st century to make it without possessing 21st century competencies. Am glad I have had the opportunity to share my thought on this important subject sooner rather than later.
I am optimistic that by the time my three kids get to this level a lot of progress would be made in the many areas that confuse me as a parent.
The liberalization of space for aggressive private sector participation is surely a step in the right direction if we ensure proper regulation. I can foresee consumers like me beginning to enjoy some of the benefits of opening up the telecommunication sector in the education sector as well.
Currently the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) provides same quality of service to all tertiary students in Ghana irrespective of whether it is a private school or public, or whether it is a dance student or medicine.
I have been corned at many events by your students and asked to do something about their loan amount because of their cost structure and I am waiting for them to take it beyond just corning me and put together a well thought through paper that considers the request comprehensively.
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you once again for the opportunity.
God Bless our Homeland Ghana.