Professor Clifford N.B.Tagoe, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has challenged the government to bring Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the doorstep of all educational institutions.
He said to facilitate national growth there should be universal access to new technologies and lifelong teaching and learning opportunities for all regardless of location or social standing.
This he stressed required the political will by the government to take decisions that would improve the educational system and ensure the nation’s progress and socio-economic development.
Prof. Tagoe, who was speaking at the third congregation and eighth matriculation of the Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) at Fiapre, near Sunyani, therefore, urged the Government to muster the requisite will and commitment for its implementation.
The combination of the both graduation and matriculation ceremonies marked the first of its kind by the University with 92 students graduating for the 2007/2008 academic year.
One hundred and seventy six students were admitted in January in addition to 622 last October for various programmes for the 2008/2009 academic year.
Prof. Tagoe stressed that it was crucial for “young people to gain access to technological tools and networks of knowledge sharing that open the door to participation in knowledge sharing societies.”
He, therefore, tasked the government to institute measures to ensure that teachers were well trained and motivated, while students had greater access to facilities and technology that would instil in them a life-long love of learning.
“This would also prepare them to place greater emphasis on personal initiative and entrepreneurship for the attainment of life-skills and social competence,” he added.
Prof .Tagoe suggested to the CUCG to consider the introduction of distance learning programmes to serve large number of qualified persons who each year failed to gain admission to pursue higher education.
He said other prospective students whose work schedules did not allow them to take time off to pursue university level programmes could also take advantage of it.
Professor James Hawkins Ephraim, Vice-Chancellor of the CUCG, said the institution was growing steadily with a student population of 1450.
He said the expansion of the university was the result of quality and relevant academic programmes and training that were being offered.
The programmes, he noted, impacted on the moral, mental, psychological and physical development of the students to meet the changing needs of the society.
The Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, chairman of the university’s board of trustees and the Archbishop of Konongo-Mampong, said the CUCG was established in fulfilment of the Church’s mission that had both spiritual and a material dimensions.
In line with promoting the material dimension, the church has “all through the ages put a premium on education” to facilitate the spread of the gospel, he added.
The Most Reverend Leon B. Kalega, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, in a keynote address, commended the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference for the establishment of the university and the developmental projects being undertaken to enhance teaching and learning.
The Apostolic Nuncio appealed to the government to widen and tar the narrow and dusty 5.5 kilometres stretch of road that leads to the new university campus from Fiapre town.