Discussions are underway between the authorities of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) to roll-out academic programmes meant to boost the professional competencies of journalists and also broaden their horizon.
This came to light when the Regional GJA Executives paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor of UENR, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the regional leadership of the inky fraternity and the University to work together as partners in the supreme interests of the two bodies.
Among the initial media-related programmes that may be introduced in the near future are Communication in Agriculture, Communication in Environment and Communication in Mining.
Prof. Asare-Bediako said UENR is fairly new and its academic programmes keep evolving adding that this requires a lot of publicity to create the much-needed awareness about the institution.
“Visibility of the University remains low and the GJA must support us to strategize well and sell ourselves in Ghana and beyond,” Prof. Asare-Bediako stated.
The VC said he was optimistic the existing relationship between the University and the GJA would be strengthened and pave way for the development of the course content.
Prof. Asare-Bediako, a plant virologist, highlighted the exceptional role of the media in nation-building and underlined the need to create opportunities for journalists and media practitioners to specialize and upgrade themselves to improve their work.
As the premier public university in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, the VC underlined the need for the media to market its potentials to facilitate progress.
Highlighting the role of the University, the VC said apart from academic work, the University conducted vigorous research and undertook outreach programmes, which required intensified publicity to sell its prospects.
Mr. Larry Paa Kwesi Moses, the GJA Regional Chairman for Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, called on the University authorities to offer scholarships for deserving and academically qualified members of the Association to upgrade themselves.
He said the GJA was a development partner, indicating that as the fourth arm of government, Journalists and media practitioners in general needed to get the opportunity to pursue specialized courses for improved professional standards.