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22.03.2006 General News

Students want Elizabeth Ohene fired

By Daily Dispatch

The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) is appealing to President Kufuor to consider revoking the appointment of the minister of state in charge of Tertiary Education, Elizabeth Ohene over remarks rubbishing the Journalism profession.

This was part of a press release jointly signed by the SRC president and his vice, Godfred Agbodo and Raymond Ablorh respectively.

“ The Ghana Institute of Journalism Students Representative Council read with deep regret the Daily Graphic's report on the derogatory remarks the Minister of State responsible for Tertiary Education, Ms Elizabeth Ohene made about journalism profession at Berekum not long ago.

SRC executives also listened to her on some Accra based radio stations, the tape completely exposes the after thought clean up she did in her rejoinder published in the Friday, March 17 2006 edition of the Daily Graphic.”

According to the SRC the minister's statements only betrayed her and her government's lack of commitment to Journalism education and training.

“ They do not see journalism as a profession which needs government attention.”

The statement said it is rather sad that despite the relevance of mass communication in general and journalism in particular to our national development, journalism education and training have virtually no place on the government's agenda list.

“ Indeed the current state of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) tells the level of government's commitment to journalism education and training.

The institute is still in its decay state with poor library and lecture room facilities and terrible human resources problems.”

The statement said the GIJ has no radio station for training student journalists.

The government repealed the Criminal Libel Law and gave the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) a place for a modern press centre and neglecting the state institute which trains the journalists who work in the same centre.

“If Ms Ohene admits that journalists must be knowledgeable in areas like medicine, engineering, agriculture, law, carpentry, masonry etc, what has stopped her from advising her government to develop the state's premier journalism institute to a modern communication university college where those specializations could be developed?

In fact, we very often hear government officials blaming 'half baked ' journalists for bad reportage; surprisingly these critics do not know that good and quality journalism education and training are the prime solution to this problem.

The Council deems it expedient and highly imperative to state without apology that persons like Ms Ohene who have grave communication problems should not be given ministerial post.

It does no matter how long she has worked as a journalist; she is simply an apology of a good communicator. And we humbly appeal to the President to reconsider her appointment.