Kumasi, Sept. 23, GNA - The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is to start a Diploma in General Agriculture for Senior Secondary School (SSS) leavers at the Kwadaso Agriculture College (KAC) by next year. Dr. Ebenezer Nortey Barnor, Director of Human Resource of the MOFA, who announced this, said modalities for the diploma programme has already been worked out, and would take off soon after going through the accreditation process early next year.
Dr. Barnor made the announcement at the matriculation ceremony for fresh students of the KAC in Kumasi on Friday. One hundred and four students, out of a total of 300 qualified applicants were admitted and matriculated into the college. Seventy out of the number admitted were students offering a three-year certificate course in General Agriculture, while the remaining 34 who are staff from the MOFA will pursue Diploma in Agricultural Extension
He said apart from the strides made in trying to change the study porgramme from certificate to diploma at the KAC, the MOFA has also, in consultation with other stakeholders championed the course of developing a National Agricultural Education policy.
Dr. Barnor said if adopted and implemented, the policy would help streamline agricultural education in the country, and linkages would be established between course and institutions in the training of students in Agriculture.
He said all these positive measures being put in place by the MOFA would come to naught if students and staff do not take their academic endeavours seriously, and improve upon their performances. "I wish to caution both the new and old students to intensify their efforts in their academic studies because recent records available indicate that Kwadaso college is just living on its past glory as the best Agricultural college in Ghana", Dr Barnor stated. Professor Paa Kobina Turkson, Dean of the School of Agriculture, University of Cape Coast (UCC), said to strengthen the affiliation of KAC to the UCC, and to provide further avenue for progression of students from the college, the UCC plans starting a Post Diploma Bachelor of Science in Animal Health programme at the UCC by next year. He advised students to take full advantage of the programme when introduced, to help broaden their horizon and justify its introduction in the curriculum of the university.
Mr Anthony Appiah, Principal of KAC commended the UCC to which the KAC is affiliated for its support in various academic programmes and expansion works of the college.
He appealed to the Government to inject more funds into helping with the expansion and maintenance of existing facilities at the college, so as to enable it cope with the large student population.