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28.04.2008 General News

President Lauds Private Universities’ Contributions

By Samuel Amoako and Francis Tuffour - newtimesonline.com

THE President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has lauded the contributions of private educational institutions in the country, especially private universities in the training of the country's human resource.

He said over the years, it has become clear that single-handedly, the public sector is not adequately equipped to shoulder the challenges of nation-building in the face of the complex demands of a rapidly growing population.

On the other hand, the President said, in a congenial environment which promotes entrepreneurship, the private sector should have the capacity to facilitate the growth of the economy to complement government's efforts in nation-building.

President Kufuor said this on Saturday at the first congregation of the Regent University College of Science and Technology, a private university college in Accra.

In all, 65 students graduated with BSc Honours in Accounting and Information System and Management with computing.

The President said realising the potentials in the private sector, the government since 2001, has taken measures to promote the development of the sector.

Significant among these is the Public Sector Reform programme which is designed to make the sector more supportive of the private sector.

'It is also to engender closer cooperation indeed partnership between the public and private sectors for national development,' he said.

The President said the steady influx of reputed foreign investors into the mining, banking, agricultural and lately, energy sectors and the increasing number of local investors are clear indications of the positive response of the private sector to government's policies.

He said the link between education and national development is more than established, adding that across the globe, wherever there is growth, there is evidence of wider access, low drop-out rate and relatively high percentage of population at tertiary level.

'It has been shown that more than natural resources, trained human resource is the better guarantee for accelerated national development. Thus, with higher skilled manpower, countries like Singapore have become shining examples of all-round development and continue to attract huge investment,' he said.

'I am indeed happy to see so many new private institutions like yours coming in Ghana. Their impact would be better felt if the curriculum featured more of science and technology and information, communication, for these are the critical tools for success in the global market,' the President observed.

President Kufuor said it was highly encouraging that the Regent University College has chosen to focus on science and technology education in spite of the capital intensive associated in running such courses and congratulated the founders of the University for such a bold initiative.

The President said the new education reform launched last year also has science, technology and ICT for its focus adding that all the 38 teacher training colleges in the country have been refurbished for the orientation, with 15 of them equipped to turn out specialists in mathematics and technology education.

'I urge the institutions to be bolder still in ensuring that the best practices come to play in the delivery of the various programmes. In particular, there must be compliance with the norms of class-size and teacher-student ratio.'

He said the government remains committed to good governance and the rule of law as these contribute to the creation of a fair society adding that 'it is this fair society that must be enriched by those who have the benefit of higher education'.

President Kufuor commended the students for successfully completing their education and urged them not to rest on their oars but pursue further to ensure that they become entrepreneurs in future.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of the University, Prof. Kingsley Kwabena Larbi, said the university recognises higher education as a national asset, and is making every effort to work in collaboration with industry, employers, government, research institutions, as well as other academic and professional institutions.

The occasion was also used to honour some deserving lecturers, staff and students for their outstanding work and performance.

Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, senior robotics engineer and technical group leader, at the NASA-Jet propulsion laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, was also honoured for his contribution to spacecraft rover and other outstanding science exploits.

The overall best student prize went to Marigold Afua Asantewaa Ampadu. She was awarded a cash prize of GH¢300, a laptop and sets of books.

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