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19.01.2006 Education

Universities not manufacturing companies - Educationist

By GNA

Kumasi, Jan. 19, GNA - An educationist has observed that universities are not established as manufacturing companies whose products are sold on the open market.

Instead they are tertiary institutions set up to train high level professionals apart from conducting scientific researches, the findings of which are published to be put to use and on trial by manufacturers in their factories and replicated for sale when successful.

Mr Badu-Fordjour Anyan, Principal of the Wesley College (WESCO) in Kumasi, who made the observation in a release issued to the press in an apparent reference to the recent controversy generated by the production of a helicopter by Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo, expressed regret that such a frivolous issue had created a negative and nuance perception of the renowned Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He said though a university might set up a production unit, studio or a laboratory for practical work for students, it was not an industrial company but a human resource and manpower training centre that trained "technocrats and senior management personnel". The educationist using the invention of the "Fufu" pounding machine by the KNUST to buttress his point, noted that commercial workers and industrialists might from that point take-over in accordance with patent rights and make use of such research on a large scale for the open market.

Mr Anyan further illustrated that a student who studied catering might prepare a variety of sumptuous dishes for marks during examinations, but after graduating the student might decide to set up a restaurant or use the skills acquired to establish a very happy home. "It therefore does not pay to downgrade our noble KNUST and the Vice Chancellor when he condemns such indictment of the university".

He said it was just prudent for Ghanaians to encourage Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo in his endeavours and not belittle the academic and technological capabilities of such a university of international repute that had churned out technocrats most of whom were currently manning the big industries in the country.

"It is just expedient to keep mute over issues for which one has little or inadequate knowledge", he added.

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