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15.03.2009 Education

Legon holds congregation


President John Evans Atta Mills has given assurance that Government would do all within its means to continue to support the vision and mission of the University of Ghana, Legon.

He said he knew what it was the academic staff and non-academic staff went through as they worked hard with sacrifice, and promised that, Government would strive to better the conditions and emolument packages.

President Mills made the promise at 2009 congregation of the University at which 4,737, graduated with diplomas, first degrees and postgraduate certificates.

“I would like to publicly congratulate the University of Ghana for the leadership role it has played and continues to play in the provision of tertiary education in Ghana, the sub-region, the Continent and beyond.

“Please trust that Government believes teachers deserve better that we have given them as a nation, and that my administration is working hard to ensure that educators from Primary School to University are given their due,” the President added.

President Mills said Government would address the management inefficiencies and bottlenecks that affect equity and quality in the educational system, and critically examine the utilization practices and processes of the Ghana Education Trust Fund, to improve efficiency and ensure that the fund was used for its stipulated purpose.

He placed education at the top of the Government's priority list as the nation forged ahead in building a better Ghana, but however observed that the cycle of providing quality education would never be completed without tertiary education.

The President said there was no better way of investing in people than to give them quality education, and gave an indication that Government would reconsider the full cost recovery.

“That is why the NDC's (National Democratic Congress) social democratic agenda does not believe in full cost recovery,” President Mills said.

He stressed the need to build the nation's research centres, a critical component in the forward march of all spheres of the nation in addition to the development of the human resource.

“Indeed, the training, research, and service functions of the university are intertwined and collectively significant for our national development, and my administration will ensure that to the extent possible, adequate material and financial and material resources are provided to optimally support tertiary education and research. “

President Mills, who was a former student of the University, and Law Professor at the same University congratulated the graduates, and urged them to use their degrees and other certificates to develop positive mental attitudes that would go a long way to determine their future.

He promised to do his best to give opportunities to the youth, and explained that the appointment of youthful personalities to Ministerial positions was an indication that the youth were critical stakeholders in shaping the national destiny.

“It is up to you to position yourselves properly and positively so that your potentials can be tapped,” President Mills said.

Mr Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, who is the Chancellor of the University, reiterated the value of education as the surest path to national development.

In his address, Professor Clifford Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of the University, announced that, Ghana Cocoa Board had provided $500,000 to start an endowment fund for the establishment of the Ghana Cocoa Board Chair, which would start next August.

He said the University had been considering opportunities to contribute to the development of human and technical resources for the emerging petroleum sector in Ghana.

The University, he said, was working to put in place workable sports programme on all campuses to ensure that students had a good balance between academic and work and other activities which are integral part of the university experience.

Mr. Emmanuel Nii-Boye Quarshie, who obtained a first class honours Bachelor of Arts Degree, in a valedictory speech, acknowledged with thanks the sacrifices of parents and guardians to see their children to that educational level, as well as the lecturers for their tuition.

He reminisced the days at Legon but appealed to stakeholders to come on board to expedite the structural transformation of the University within the Faculties of Arts and Social Studies.

Among the graduates was Mrs. Elizabeth Mills-Roberston, Acting Inspector General of Police, who graduated with a Master of Philosophy in Human Resource Management.