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21.03.2005 Education

Osafo-Maafo pledges support for distance education

By GNA

Cape Coast, March 21, GNA - The Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo has pledged the commitment of the sector Ministry to improved on the financial support for distance education to enhance access to tertiary education.

He deplored the notion that tertiary education could only be attained within the "four walls" of a university. Mr Osaafo-Maafo, was addressing the 35th congregation of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) at which 2,628 graduates were presented with degrees and diplomas.

The Minister expressed dissatisfaction that out of the 15,950 applicants to the University in the 2004/2005 academic year, only 3,000 gained admission.

Mr Osaafo-Maafo said distance education had therefore become a "Faculty of choice" and said the Ministry would source more funding from the HIPC and GETfunds as well as the donor community to facilitate the programme.

He tasked the UCC to obtain accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for the new academic programmes it had introduced, explaining that all the public universities have failed to comply with this requirement.

He exhorted the graduates to show gratitude for the huge national investments in their education by contributing their quota towards the general improvement of their localities.

The Vice Chancellor, the Reverend Professor Emmanuel Addo Obeng said the UCC was spending huge foreign capital in sponsoring the distance education programme.

He said students have been admitted to start the School of Medical Sciences of the University.

The Chancellor of the UCC, Dr Sam Jonah expressed the need for collaborative efforts to sponsor education.

The Chairman of the UCC Council, Dr Charles Mensah, University announced the renewal of the tenure of office of the Vice -Chancellor' for another three years.

Seventy seven (77) graduates obtained first class, 772 second class upper division, 808 second class lower division and 351 third class degrees, whilst the overall best students were presented with special awards instituted by Unilever and some individuals including the Vice Chancellor. 21 March 05

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