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20.12.2004 Education

Faculty UK on tertiary education in Ghana

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Accra, Dec. 20, GNA - Faculty UK, an Association of Ghanaian faculty members in tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom, has asked the government to improve on funding, research, teaching and access to tertiary institutions in Ghana.

This is contained in a congratulatory statement signed by Nana Otuo Acheampong, a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, on behalf of the 27 members of the Association, to President John Agyekum Kufuor, on his re-election to another term.

The Faculty expressed dissatisfaction about the mode of disbursing the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) students' loans.

The statement explained that the loan scheme in its present form, made it difficult for students from rural areas to access the facility because most of them could not get guarantors.

It suggested the need for the restructuring of the loan scheme, to encourage more potential students to take advantage of the facility. The Association said: "As our profession dictates, our interest in education has no national borders. Thus our objective is to contribute towards the total education of Ghanaians wherever they may be resident in the world.

"We reaffirm our belief in the findings of the UNESCO study of 2003, which confirmed that in 16 developing economies investments in human capital over the past two decades may have accounted for about a half the percentage point in the annual growth rates of those countries."

The Association called for a policy direction that would task all tertiary institutions to set targets for increasing the proportion of students from the less endowed schools.

Faculty UK said the virtual non-existence of the research culture in Ghanaian institutions of higher learning was partly due to the lack of funding and suggested that a percentage of the annual national budget be allocated for that area of academic work.

The Association said educational institutions should be made to measure the performance of all staff , while centres of excellence must be set up to reward tertiary schools with good teaching culture. The group said it had noted with extreme delight, the enthusiasm and the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity under which the over eight million Ghanaians exercised their franchise in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

It also congratulated presidential candidates of the Grand Coalition, the National Democratic Congress and the Convention People's Party (CPP) for putting up a spirited challenge.

"To the 230 Members of Parliament (MP) who were successfully selected from amongst the 952 aspirants, we say welcome to the service of the people. We hope that the 20 female MPs will serve as a beacon of hope, as well as role models, for the rest of the female population in Ghana."

The Association called on the next parliament to revisit the issue of allowing Ghanaians living abroad to vote in subsequent elections.

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