Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister for Education, Science and Sports, yesterday urged private tertiary institutions in the country to pursue academic programmes in accordance with the New Education Reform to help address deficiencies in the previous system.
He said the modification of some programmes in the educational sector with emphasis on science, technology and vocational studies would help produce qualified human resource for the nation's fast growing economy.
Prof Fobih said this at the inauguration of a two-storey lecture hall complex, named 'Colombia Hall,' at Valley View University, at Oyibi in the Greater Accra Region.
The building of the $200,000 hall was funded by the Colombia Union Conference, a sub-regional group of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in North America and three of it subsidiaries, Kettering Medical Center Network, Adventist Healthcare Incorporated and Alleghany East conference.
'Private tertiary institutions have come in a wonderful way to complement government effort. This has greatly reduced the pressure on government in creating opportunities for the large number of qualified senior high school students who are not able to get admission into public universities,' Prof Fobih said.
He commended authorities of the University for introducing degree programmes in Nursing, Bio-medical Equipment Technology and Information, which reflected the objective of the New Education Reform.
Dr Seth A. Laryea, President of the University, said the building of the Colombia Hall was an affirmation by the Adventist Mission to make the University a centre of excellence to produce capable leaders to serve humanity with integrity.
He said the Seventh-day Adventist Church was committed to ensuring quality education and that the building of the hall formed part of efforts by the Church to provide enough accommodation for lectures.
Dr Laryea said the hall also has a library and a conference room, adding with the completion of the facility, the University would be able to admit more students. He thanked Colombia Union Conference Johnson and Johnson, a company in New Jersey U.S and other groups that contributed to the development of the University.
Dr Mrs Gladys Ashietey, Deputy Minister for Health, said the introduction of Nursing by the University was in the right direction because the Ministry of Health needed more personnel to support the regenerative health and nutrition plan of the Ministry and to improve health care delivery in general. She asked the University to ensure that its training programmes served the needs of rural communities and said the Ministry was affected by brain drain.
Dr Ashietey said efforts were being made to prevent health professional from leaving the country and called on students pursuing Nursing to work in the country after the completion of the their courses.
Mr Samuel A. Larmie, President of Colombia Union Conference, said it decided to assist the University, when in 2005 Elder Harild Lee and the North American Regional Leadership of the Conference visited Ghana.
He said they held a series of meeting with the Ghana Union Conference Executive Committee to enter into partnership with the North American Division Leadership towards the introduction of a nursing prgramme at the University. Colombia Union Conference and Alleghany East conference donated $10,000 as seed capital to purchase equipment for the hall.