Private universities concerned over national service
5/18/2012 5:35:07 PM -
The Conference of Heads of Private Universities of Ghana (CHUP) has questioned the rational for private university students to undertake national service.
It said private tertiary institutions produced students who were being obliged by the laws of the land to perform national service, and that those students from the private institutions did not have minimum assistance from the state as compared to their colleagues in the public tertiary institutions.
“The question then arises: Why should they perform National Service? While no appropriate answer has been given to this question, the private institution who produces these private graduates are required to pay the salaries of the national service personnel because they are private!
“This situation undermines the public-private sector collaboration which is required to ensure an accelerated socio-economic development of our country. All necessary efforts must be made to rectify this apparent anomaly!,” the Chairman of the CHPUG Prof. James Hawkins Ephraim said at the sixth anniversary celebration of the CHUP in Accra.
The National Accreditation Board (NAB) reports that there are more than 65 private tertiary institutions in the country. However, not all of them were members of the CHPUG.
The membership of the conference stands at 28.
Prof. Ephraim said the vision of the CHPUG was to become a strong association whose members provide access to quality tertiary education in Ghana.
He said quality tertiary education was not only measured by the standard of the input but ultimately by the standard of the output.
Accreditation, he said, was paramount as a positive step towards ensuring quality while affiliation was also to ensure that emerging institutions could benefit from the experience of institutions that had been operating for some time.
“However, the modus operandi poses a serious threat to innovation. Are the emerging institutions obliged to behave exactly like her mentoring institution because they are offering their certificates? Has the affiliation process converted the mentored institution into a “satellite campus” of the mentoring institution? How would the presence of the mentoring institution in the Board of Trustees/Council of the mentored institution bring about quality and innovation?,” asked.
Prof. Ephraim said private sector engagement in the provision of quality tertiary education must be considered as a positive contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.
He said private tertiary institutions must therefore be given all the required support by government to maximize their contribution to quality of and access to tertiary education in Ghana.
In a presentation, the Principal of the Central University College (CUC), Prof. V.P.Y. Gadzekpo, said the country should formulate a good education policy that will make it possible for all citizens to have access to tertiary education.
The policy, he said, must remove every barrier or obstacle that will prevent Ghanaians from accessing tertiary, adding that the policy must be based on research.
“In formulating the policy one must recognise that every individual born into the world has a potential. Our aim in formulating a policy for education is to ensure that the policy makes it possible for everyone to achieve their maximum potential,” he said.
Prof. Gadzekpo noted that the aim of formulating a policy for education was to ensure that the policy made it possible for everyone to achieve their maximum potential.
The country, he said, should take into consideration the fact that there were fast and slow learners, and that if a policy was made without making provision for the slow learner, a good number of them would be prevented from tertiary education.
He said it was very important to have adequate tertiary institutions to admit citizens if tertiary education was to be brought to the door step of Ghanaians.
Currently Ghana has eight public universities, 10 polytechnics, 38 Colleges of Education and nine Nursing Training Colleges.
Prof. Gadzekpo indicated that the number was grossly inadequate when compared to the total number of students available to access tertiary education, adding that the Ghanaian youth had developed high taste for tertiary education and everyone wanted to have a university degree.
“Tertiary education has increased considerably over the years but there is still a significant number of the population who cannot have access to it in Ghana. The reason is simply that there are not enough universities and polytechnics to accommodate all students,” he said.
Prof. Gadzekpo said for a nation to develop, the literacy level should be well over 90 per cent, and that “for Ghana between five to six per cent of the population has access to tertiary education.
He described the junior high school concept as an excellent addition to Ghana’s education system, and that to improve the pass rate at the BECE, “I suggest that junior high schools should be taught by graduate teachers.
To bring tertiary education to the doorstep of Ghanaians, he said, the tertiary institutions must be flexible and not rigid in their nature of operation.
Prof. Gadzekpo underscored the need for private tertiary institutions to be innovative, creative and think outside the box.
They, he said, should expand their programmes, work as a team and allo transfer of students from one private tertiary institution to another.
A representative of the NAB, Mr Richard Adjei, said private tertiary institutions should let faculty develop engage their attention.