The President, His Excelency Prof J. E. A. Mills, has indicated that the priority of his government is to develop the human resource base of the country, as well as promote the private sector for accelerated economic growth and development.
According to him, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government believed in social democratic principles, and that the establishment of private tertiary institutions falls in line with his party's manifesto of creating jobs and investing in people.
The President said, in an address read on his behalf at the graduation ceremony of the Methodist University College in Accra on Saturday, that the educational institutions were serving a dual purpose of investing in the private sector and helping to develop the much-needed human resource base in Ghana.
He explained that the establishment of private institutions was a cwelcome development, as it had come at a time when the government alone was unable to absorb the entire cost of providing education for the increasing population of the nation.
“These institutions are welcome as partners with government to provide adequate educational opportunities, and government will provide the necessary support to them,” he added.
He mentioned that for Ghana to meet the demands of the competitive world, there was the need for a more innovative and career-oriented higher education system that would meet the socio-economic and educational needs of the country.
The President called for a revolution in the teaching and learning process, and the curriculum to produce the graduates the nation desperately needs.
He stressed that being skilful was good, but being spiritual was a plus, since Ghana needed God-fearing, honest and skilful citizens who would manage the national resources in a prudent manner for the welfare of the people.
He pointed out that for any tertiary institution to be able to achieve excellence, its policy should be to give high quality and relevant education.
“There is therefore the need for building of a conducive environment and culture in which students can genuinely have the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the world of work. This therefore places a great deal of responsibility on the management of all universities, both private and public, to employ lecturers with the requisite qualification, experience and exposure to work in these institutions,” he added.
President Mills assured the institution that government would not hesitate to revoke accreditation and programmes that failed to comply with the established requirements.
On his part, the Principal of the school, Prof Samuel Adjeipong, said that private tertiary institutions were making a significant contribution to the development of human capital for the country, and therefore urged government to accelerate the process of reviewing the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) law, to make it possible for accredited private tertiary education institutions to access competitively funds for research and staff. According to him, it would be a logical, equitable and effective way of supporting private tertiary institutions as worthy and credible partners.
He suggested that a much higher loans level be accessed by students in private tertiary institutions, so that they could pay for their tuition fees and accommodation.