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20.12.2007 Education

Private universities urged to review programme scope

By The Statesman

President John Agyekum Kufuor at the weekend challenged private universities in the country to review its programmes scope and offer physical science based courses that will produce graduates with Science and Technology competencies to augment the nation's human resource capabilities.

The President noted that most private universities only major in humanities or social science but shy away from Physical Science and Technology for economic reasons and added that a developing country like Ghana needs graduates from both the public and private Universities in Science and Technology to achieve the middle income status.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Osei Akoto at the 31st graduation ceremony of the Christian Service University College in Kumasi, the president said the CSUC could go into partnership with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to establish a faculty of Science and Technology to train students in physical science.

In all 160 students graduated from the University in Theology and Business Administration.

On the interim, President Kufuor said KNUST could be allowed to offer guidelines and support as well as award students who graduate from programmes from the Christian Service University College till they come of age to award by themselves.

He however reaffirmed the NPP government's commitment to developing human resource capabilities through technical, vocational and more importantly Science, Technology and IT education. He expressed government's financial assurance to the establishment of the school of science at the CSUC.

He noted that this year's graduation was unique in the history of the institutions because it was the first time the University College had produced graduates in another discipline apart from theology.

This, he observed, showed that the institution was developing a holistic vision to make a comprehensive impact on the society.

He encouraged the school to apply for financial assistance from the GETFUND to ensure adequate expansion of the school to enroll more qualified students who wish to study their carrier programmes with them.

The president hinted that the GETFUND has decided to provide a school bus, 20 brand new computers, 5 printers, and a heavy duty photocopier machine for the university to enhance proper administration.

He charged on students and the graduates to exhibit high moral standards in and outside the school's premises and heed to authorities' advises and instructions, saying "knowledge without integrity and character is a danger to the nation".

On his part, the Asantehene Otumfou Osei Tutu II, appealed to government to explore ways whereby some of the private Universities in the country could be supported to introduce medical programmes to train more doctors for the nation.

According to the Asantehene, considering the continuous shortage of doctors and nurses in the country, it was only prudent and practical for the government to approve the establishment of Medical schools by private universities.

In his welcome address, the Council Chairman of the CSUC, Professor Sam Afrane disclosed that the University was in a process of preparing a Ten-Year Strategic Plan that will take the institution to higher height.

The plan, according to him, will also formulate a road map that will lead them to obtain a Charter as a fully-fledged University within the shortest possible time.

Other critical issues in the plan, he disclosed include a comprehensive Staff Development Programme, long term funding strategies, student housing and infrastructure development and staff welfare matters.

Prof. Afrane further announced that plans were far afoot to mount a Bachelor Programme in Communication in January 2008 while the school continues to introduce new professional programmes that are responsive to economic development and manpower needs of the nation.

By Gabriel Amoah