Institute of Journalism Degree programme may suffer if ...

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By gna

11/30/2002 -

The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) may not be able to admit the next batch of degree students next academic year due to the lack of funds to complete additional classrooms at its new site at Legon.

Mr. David Newton, Director, who made this known at the second matriculation ceremony of the Institute said, "If we are unable to provide extra classrooms next year, we shall find it difficult to admit the next batch of degree students for 2003-2004 academic year."

This year the Institute admitted only 35 out of 500 applicants for the degree courses and 106 diploma students out of 1,200 applicants due to the lack of space and training facilities.

The institute, which started its degree programme two years ago now requires 2.2 billon cedis to complete a twelve classroom block complex as part of the first phase of efforts to relocate the institute at a new site, he noted.

He said currently work on the project site had virtually come to a halt due to the lack of funds adding that persistent appeals for support from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) did not materialized because the Institute was said to be not a non-beneficiary.

Mr. Newton described the situation as sad saying, "After 43 years of its existence, the GIJ had never received adequate funding to enable it improve upon its infrastructure and facilities."

He said the seriousness of the problem stemmed from the fact that the degree programme in addition to the diploma programme were being run with the same infrastructure and facilities thus affecting the quality of teaching and learning.

The Director said so far the institute had trained about 4000 Journalists and Public Relations practitioners, 500 of whom had come from other African countries. The Institute trained eighty per cent of all practicing journalists in Ghana.

Mr. Robert Kafui Johnson, General Manager of the Ghana News Agency, who chaired the ceremony, said there was the need to re-look at the GETFUND regulations to increase beneficiaries, adding that the National Film and Television Institute had also made similar appeal.

"Whatever it takes, government must have the courage to amend the laws and regulations governing the fund, GIJ and other tertiary institutions deserve much attention taking into considerations the quality of their products and years of existence.

Mr. Johnson said it would be sad to see some of the 500 African foreigners who had their training at the Institute years ago come back to find the same old structures being use.

Touching on responsible journalism, he said what was more important was the need to epitomize a sense of nationalism in our reportage making sure that whatever came out to the public did not compromise the nation's interest.

Mr. Johnson recalled Cable News Network (CNN) coverage of the September 11, attack on the United States of America saying, "all that CNN did was to protect the national interest of America, the reportage was such that what could aggravate the situation or defeat efforts to fight terrorism was not brought out."

He told the new students that once admitted into the institute they owed themselves the responsibility to develop the interest in the profession by nurturing and working hard to become good Journalists.

Mr. T. Tabi, Director of Academic Affairs, University of Ghana, Legon, administered the oath for the degree students while the Registrar of the GIJ administered for the diploma students.

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