Report: GIJ Rector's Report at 3rd Congregation
THE RECTOR'S REPORT ON THE OCCASION OF THE
3RD CONGREGATION OF THE GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM ON 21sT NOVEMBER, 2009
His Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana,
Hon. Minister of Education,
Distinguished Guest Speaker,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
The Members of the Governing Council of GIJ,
Heads of Media Institutions,
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure and honour to welcome you to the 3rd Congregation and the 50th oversight responsibility of the Institute from the Ministry of Information to the Ministry of Education, and to crown it all, the Institute received a Presidential Charter in October this year making it an autonomous tertiary institution with the mandate to award its own degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Mr. Chairman, as we enter the next decade our strategic plan will focus on developing our new site into a modern university campus equipped with modern facilities.
As part of the strategies to develop the new site, the Institute will set up an endowment fund to supplement Government efforts. We shall also solicit support from the private sector, especially in the provision of hostel facilities for our students:
Mr. Chairman, as I have already mentioned in my earlier speeches, our focus as an autonomous tertiary institute will include strengthening our research and publications activities, introducing innovative programmes and courses, and above all, setting up an effective quality control system.
Mr. Chairman, our efforts to collaborate with foreign universities and institutions have started yielding some dividends.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has pledged to support the Institute in the areas of curriculum development; information, communication and technology (ICT); and the promotion of exchange programmes between the Institute and other African communication institutions. As an indication of the fulfillment of its pledge, OSIWA this year sponsored two lecturers and a student to participate in this year's Highway Africa Conference 2009 at Rhodes University in South Africa.
The Institute has also been approached by the International Centre for Journalists with funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The International Centre for Journalists is engaged in a project that is aimed at equipping journalists in five African countries including Ghana with skills to conduct in-depth investigative reports on poverty-related issues such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and rural development. When the project takes off next year, GIJ will be one of the participating training institutions.
Currently there is also an experimental programme going on between the Institute and Kwantlen University College of Canada in which Level 400 students studying Development Communication link up with their counterparts in Canada through the Internet to participate in a lecture on globalization and social change. Even though the programme is still at its experimental stage, we believe that its sustainability will expose both faculty and students to international and multi-cultural modes of learning and teaching, thereby broadening the intellectual scope of both students and lecturers.
Mr. Chairman, as we explore avenues of collaboration with external universities and institutions, we are also taking steps to update our internal systems and procedures. We are making steady progress in the computerisation of the Institute's records.
Beginning next academic year, students can check their examination results on the Internet and can print OUE their result slips as well. In the same way, prospective applicants can apply for admission on-line. Our Internet system will be upgraded to ensure high-speed connectivity.
Mr. Chairman, under our Medium-Term Expenditure Framework for 2010 to 2012, emphasis will be on spending on human resource development, curriculum development, improvement in ICT facilities and research and publication.
Mr. Chairman, for the year 2010 an amount of ¢4,141,820 has been budgeted to cover personnel emoluments, administrative expenses, services and investment. Our investment activities for next year will cover procurement of additional computers for the Library and the Computer Laboratory and a generator to use during power cuts.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, permit me now to turn my attention to the high point of our meeting here this morning.
Mr. Chairman, we have met here today to graduate a total of one hundred and fifty-seven students who have successfully completed a two-year Diploma programme in Communication Studies. Out of this number one hundred and one (101) are women and fifty-six men.
Mr. Chairman, this year's Congregation has coincided with the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Institute, which is being celebrated under the theme GIJ, 50 years of Defining Africa's Communication Agenda.
A number of activities have already been held, such as a health walk and a float, photo exhibition, anniversary lectures and the home-coming event for alumni.
With reference to our theme, GIJ, 50 years of Defining Africa's Communication Agenda, one may ask, what is Africa's communication agenda and who defines that agenda? Mr. Chairman, is it clear that knowledge is now the predominant factor in the creation of wealth and power?
The question is how do we use communication, especially modern communication technologies, to create knowledge, combat poverty and foster development, science and technology, the impact of environmental and climate changes on our farmers and fishermen and many other pertinent issues.
To manage this kind of social agenda settings, journalists and communicators need more education and they need to work together with experts in different areas to get access to current and relevant information.
Our distinguished guest speakers for our anniversary lectures have given us enough food for thought and have provided us with some useful insight which could guide us in shaping our future goals and objectives.
Mr. Chairman, let me conclude by once again expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all companies, organisations and individuals who have contributed in diverse ways towards the success of this occasion.
Finally, I wish to thank the Chairman and members of the GIJ Governing Council, the Executive Management Board, the Academic Board, the local unions, the Graduation Planning Committee, the teaching and non-teaching staff, the Student Representative Council and indeed the entire student body for their co-operation and support throughout the year.
I wish to also congratulate the new graduates and to wish them success and God's blessing in their future endeavours.