The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, has urged graduates to desist from leaving the country to seek 'greener pastures' elsewhere after completing school, and rather help to build the country, especially now that the country has discovered oil on its shores.
President Kufuor said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister for National Security, Mr. Francis Poku, at the 2nd Congregation of the Catholic University College of Ghana-Fiapre, in the Sunyani Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
President Kufuor said this was the time Ghana needed them most and as such, it was imperative for them to work in the country since their skills, discipline arid high moral values were needed in the country's service sector.
He reiterated government's commitment to eliminate or reduce massive illiteracy, which is demonstrated by the introduction of some interventions by the government.
The President said it is government's objective to mobilize the skills of the youth towards creativity and the understanding of the country's culture and to ensure that tertiary institutions churn out graduates who are employable on the market.
He promised to help new graduates find work and urged businesses to offer practical placements of graduates into various work places as volunteers, adding "this scheme would enable businesses to impart on-the-job skills to otherwise unemployed graduates".
The President said the government would make financial contributions to both volunteers and businesses through the National Youth Employment Programme in that direction.
He appealed to businesses and universities to cooperate in all areas of research and development of agro-based processing to produce more jobs, while challenging the importation of finished products.
He also expressed the government's willingness to support the university's programmes.
In his welcome address, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre, said, “the Catholic church from the beginning of its existence saw its evangelizing mission as not only having a spiritual but a material dimension, thus, enabling the church to put premium on education.
“It is this vision of education that inspired the Catholic Church in Ghana many years ago to establish schools at the primary and secondary levels in the country. It was this same vision that inspired the Ghana Catholic Bishops in 1997 to conceive the idea of establishing a Catholic University in the country as a logical step to make education accessible to all," he stated.
Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu appealed to the graduants to justify the investment made on their education and live morally upright lives by not allowing themselves to be driven by the inordinate desire for money.
He said today's society is characterized by immorality, indiscipline, bribery and corruption, misappropriation of public funds, killing, rape and sexual promiscuity, and warned that their involvement in any of these would not in any way benefit society.
"Against this background it's incomprehensible and mind-boggling that the new Education Reforms should leave out of the syllabus Moral and Religious Education, and consign it to be taught as a mere 'concept' in the teaching of English language and other subjects", he stated.
Professor James Hawkins Ephraim Vice-Chancellor of CUCG thanked Reverend Father Dr. Micheal Schultiess and Professor Ebow Mensah, President and former Acting President respectively for their good works had culminated in laying a solid foundation upon which the CUCG now stands.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the introduction of two new faculties, Public Health and Allied Sciences and Education, had seen an increase in the population of students from 50 in 2003 to 902 in 2007.
He said the University was expected to make a partial movement to the permanent site with facilities such as a Resource Centre (made up of computer and language laboratories, a library and classroom block) in the 2008/2009 Academic Year.
He also said new courses will be introduced as soon as accreditation is obtained from the National Accreditation Board.