Kumasi, Dec 12, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has stated that the government was very much encouraged by the modern outlook of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), especially the programmes of the Kumasi Campus which were designed to address very critical needs of the nation's development agenda. He said the government would therefore continue to support the university to fulfil its mandate. This was contained in an address read on his behalf at the first congregation of the College of Technology Education of the UEW in Kumasi at the weekend.
President Kufuor said government was very much aware of the significant strides the university was making in providing teachers handling technical and vocational programmes. "There is a dearth of required manpower in these critical areas of the nation's socio-economic development. It is therefore gratifying that the university continues to review its curricula for technical and vocational programme to ensure that they remain relevant to the country's manpower needs and aspirations," the President said.
Again, the government was pleased that the university had embraced the Information Communication Technology (ICT) evolution and had since 2003 set up an ICT department, he added. President Kufuor said literacy today was not just being able to read and write, pointing out that without the mastering of the computer and its related technologies, one can at best be half literate. The most sustainable way of meeting the nation's IT challenge, he said, was to produce teachers trained in IT who would promote IT knowledge and skills in all non-tertiary institutions. "This would guarantee our nation and modern workforce. Elsewhere, this type of workforce has defined the difference between prosperity and poverty and Ghana must position itself with the winners".
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said education was a catalyst of any nation and that without sound education major issues like poverty alleviation, ignorance and disease, which impeded human development cannot be overcome. He pledged to offer land to the university to develop into a centre for the training of teachers in the field of technology.
Professor Jophus Anamoah-Mensah, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said this year, for the first time, congregations were being held separately on all the three campuses namely, Winneba, Asante-Mampong and Kumasi. The decision, he said, was taken in line with the university's policy to develop individual colleges to assist them to operate as semi-autonomous institutions. Prof Anamoah-Mensah hoped that this would also give greater participation to the chiefs and people of the communities in which the campuses are located.
Dr Steve Sobotie, Principal of College of Technology of Education, said it was the only institution in Ghana that had embraced the four pillars of tertiary education. He said, the college runs regular full-time programmes leading to the award of Bachelor of Education and certificate in Education and that through this system, competent and qualified teachers are produced to teach business and technology related subjects in basic, secondary, technical schools and teacher training colleges. The college, Dr Sobotie said, also runs the sandwich system during the long vacations where a certificate in Education programme is organized to train vocational and technical teachers for the educational system. He said the college was also involved in a distance education programme with the Institute for educational development and extension based at Winneba.