Products of tertiary institutions must be creative
The challenge facing the country's development is not the absence of human resource but how to expose the available human resource to opportunities that need creative undertakings to solve problems to improve the lot of the People.
Professor Alfred A. Oteng-Boateng, a former Deputy Director of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSlR) who made this statement said the country needed young entrepreneurs with creative abilities to come up with innovations that would boost the country's development aspirations.
He, therefore, has challenged products of tertiary institutions in the country not to only acquire the requisite knowledge and skills but to be creative to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the country's socio-economic development.
"The purpose of your education as products of universities has been to expose you to knowledge that has opened you to capacity to be innovative and use your mind to create something from an existing entity in order to benefit society," Prof. Oteng-Boateng said.
He was speaking at the matriculation and the fourth convocation of the All Nations University College (ANUC) at Koforidua.
The event saw the admission of 472 students to pursue various programmes and the graduation of 160 students out of which nine had first class.
According to Prof. Oteng-Boateng, the debacle of the 2008 global financial downturn had posed serious global economic upheaval to almost all economies across the world.
This unfortunate situation, he said, required the government to pursue good economic policies to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis in the areas of poverty, severe hunger, urbanisation, violence, diseases and depletion of both renewable and non-renewable natural resources.
"The success of such a policy demands the availability of a certain cadre of human resource that understands what it takes to make an economy tick and contribute to sustainable social and environmental development of the country," he stated.
More than ever before, he noted that Ghana needed people with creative abilities to come up with innovative inventions that would boost agricultural practices to enhance food security, promote safe and efficient exploitation of the mineral, wealth of the country and address environmental 'degradation, among others.
Speaking on the topic "Science and Technology Education in Nation Building", the President of ANUC, Dr Samuel Donkor said in a world dominated by technology, access to knowledge was more important than access to natural resources and capital, saying advances in science and technology had affected every sphere of human life, from education, transport, communication, commerce, employment and many others.
According to him, unlike the past, countries like Japan and others with limited natural resources had evolved into dominant economies by focusing on science and technology which had been their engine of economic and social development.
"These countries including India can boast of a reasonably strong educational, research, pharmaceutical, industrial infrastructure, space technologies and automobiles", Dr Donkor said.
He indicated that it was the immense advantage of technology to the country's socio-economic development that the ANUC had deliberately chosen science and technology based education to prepare the youth to look into the future with confidence and contribute to nation-building.
"But we must not forget that the fast changing technologies of today often make skills redundant unless a continuous programme of skill upgrading is taken. Education can no longer be limited to the days of university but has to be a continuous exercise," he reminded the graduands.