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General News | Apr 24, 2004

Government revising GETFund

GNA
Accra, April 24, GNA - Government will soon revise the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to embrace all accredited private tertiary institutions in the country, President John Agyekum Kufuor indicated on Saturday.
In a speech read for him, President Kufuor explained that the GETFund law was being reviewed at the Attorney-General's Department and that it would be laid before Parliament as soon as the House returns from recess. "That law will be one of the issues of top priority to be discussed by the House in its next sitting," he assured.
Information Minister Nana Akomea read the speech on behalf of the President at the maiden congregation of the Methodist University College Ghana (MUCG) in Accra.
In all, 54 pioneers graduated with degrees in two disciplines - Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Economics - with six of them receiving First Class Honours while 16 obtained Second Class Upper.
The rest had Second Class Lower Degrees with only one person obtaining a Third Class Honour.
President Kufuor congratulated the granduands for putting themselves under strict discipline to study and to graduate from the MUCG, and said their entry into the working life should be regarded as a call to national duty.
"There is a growing concern about the need for discipline, your education courses or various disciplines taken at your institutions, may give you the requisite intellectual needs of your subjects, but if the intellectual goes without some moral controls and guiding principles, you may not go wild, but also become a serious liability to society.
"It is expected, therefore, that you will again take the challenge of proving yourselves as really educated and disciplined members, men and women of honour, dignity with capability of taking up the leadership and reigns of government when we are gone," he admonished.
The President urged the granduands to live up to the tenets of the motto of the University, which reads "Excellence, Morality and Service" in their endeavours, and be shining examples worthy of emulation by those coming behind them.
He acknowledged the invaluable contribution of the Methodist University and all other private universities in national development and pledged his government's financial and logistical support towards the success of their missions as well as government's.
According to President Kufuor, the existence of Church Universities represented a concern of religious bodies to supplement government efforts in solving the human resource needs of the nation by providing training for its citizens and to help move it out of poverty.
He commended the Methodist Church for its prompt response to the call by government for private participation in the provision of tertiary education, and paid tribute to its early Missionaries "who did well to leave us with a legacy of high quality primary and secondary education".
President Kufuor said the inadequacy of residential accommodation for students has become a major problem that had characterised the public Universities in recent times, adding that the situation had compelled the institutions to restrict their intake of students to between 30 and 50 percent annually.
He was, therefore, pleased that MUCG was tackling the problem of accommodation with the construction of a new hostel on campus to provide rooms for about 400 students, in addition to an existing hostel which accommodates 200 students.
He also commended the University authorities for their efforts to develop a multi-campus institution. The institution has campuses in different parts of the country including Wenchi, Techiman and Yeji in the Brong Ahafo Region and Akatsi in the Volta Region.
The Principal of the University, the Very Reverend Professor Samuel Adjepong, said the University had its accreditation in the year 2000, to offer degree-level programmes in Business Administration and Social Studies with an initial intake of 215 students and a core teaching staff of nine lecturers.
He said currently the student population had risen to 740, made up of 436 men and 306 women, adding that, for the 2003/2004 academic year, 228 students comprising 138 men and 90 women had been admitted. Very Rev Adjepong said through the help of the Methodist Church, the University had enjoyed a commendable rate of development of infrastructure, and that a five-storey faculty building and another four-storey students' hostel would soon be completed.
He said for the next few years, in the life of MUCG, there would be a period of consolidation, innovation and modest growth, with the expansion of various physical developments, curriculum programmes, and professional developments.
He said the University was in the process of setting up a computer-assisted learning and teaching centre, which would be completed before the end of the current academic year, and that discussions were underway as to establish links with the Kofi Annan ICT Centre in Accra, the Southern Methodist University in America and Warnborough University in the UK.
The Principal thanked government for its assurance of considering all private universities in the GET Fund, and called for support to enable the institution train more academic staff.
Rev Adjepong paid tribute to the founding fathers of the University who were honoured and awarded with certificates at the ceremony for their immense help and unflinching contributions.
Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana in a fraternal message appealed to private universities to provide courses in Science and Technology, to prospective students so that there would not be a congestion in those areas in the public universities.
Meanwhile, the Dunwell Insurance Company, owned by the Methodist Church, had donated four computers to the University and another 200 million cedis towards a one-billion-cedi Endowment Fund, which it said, would be establish for all schools in the Country. The Prudential Bank Limited also pledged 100 million cedis towards the construction of a Computer Centre for the University.


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