Promote research, traditional ecological knowledge-Quashigah
The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), on Saturday said it was time the country's educational system promoted the fusion of applied research into traditional ecological knowledge to achieve rapid transformation of the country.
He said "Most countries have developed more easily and faster by building upon their own traditional ecological knowledge and intensive observation of nature.
Major Quashigah made the suggestion at the first matriculation of the Evangelical Presbyterian University College (EPUC) in Ho.
He said "the airplane, train and submarine are all inventions from the observation of birds, snakes and dolphins. The art of weaving was learnt through careful observation of the spider-spun webs. The elaborate system of organization and specialization was learnt from the highly organized systems of the honeybee and termites."
Major Quashigah said the advancement in science and technology had put Ghana in a much stronger position to develop faster once the country began to combine the advancement with indigenous technology and knowledge to solve problems.
He said China was a practical example Ghana could follow because that country was able to utilize the value of research and scholarship to solve most of her problems and improved upon its traditional ecological knowledge.
Major Quashigah said this approach to addressing Ghana's developmental challenges should be combined with the infusion of a strong sense of patriotism, community service as well as leadership and mentorship as part of the educational system.
He said "Creativity, ideas and freedom of thought nurtured through sound education are the catalysts to socio-economic development."
Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, advised the University College to fashion out its business programmes,
This, she said, would make it possible for many potential students to meet their aspirations for higher academic training without undermining its financial viability.
Ms. Ohene said serious Churches and charitable organizations were viable because they adopted good business practices.
She urged the University College to de-emphasize the focus on marketing and business related disciplines and consider areas of production otherwise there would be nothing to market.
Ms. Ohene urged the University College to develop programmes with local flavour and involve people of diverse backgrounds and expertise across the country and the world so that graduates could compete labour on the international market.
She said government would do all it could to help the University College since private educational institutions were helping the country to meet its statutory obligations of providing educational opportunities for its citizenry.
President of the University College, Mr Walter Blege, said government support to the educational institution should not be a subject of debate, or doubt, or hesitation.
He said “Government support for private universities should be a natural, obvious and unchallenged activity," because government and the private universities had similar aspirations.
Mr Blege said the University College said the E.P. Church had only been an endearing and supporting parent of the University College.
The Moderator of the E.P. Church, Right Reverend Dr Livingstone Komla Buama, said he sees a bright future for the University College and urged all the people to consider themselves as stakeholders in its destiny.
A total of 57 pioneer students matriculated.