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Change curricula to encourage innovation - Entrepreneurs tell government

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
The participants after the workshop
The participants after the workshop

Participants in a workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship have observed that the educational curricula are too packed for students to innovative and advocated that they be "loosened."

They said the curricula were too tight, making it difficult for students to have time to relax, dream and innovate to solve societal problems.

They observed that curricula of the nation's educational system were about learning in the laboratories and writing examinations, giving students no breathing space to think outside the box and innovate.

The participants also called for the involvement of key industry players in the development of educational curricula to firmly connect the classrooms and the field of work.

They called for stronger industry-academia collaboration to address and resolve societal challenges more adequately.

The workshop, which brought together academicians and technocrats from industry, was organised by the Ghana Bioenterprise Partnership Project (GBIP) of the British Council Innovative for African Universities (IAU).

The GBIP project is being implemented by the University of St Andrews as the United Kingdom lead university, the University of Health and Allied Sciences as the sub Saharan African University lead and the University of Cape Coast as the ecosystem player.

The project

The overall goal of the IAU is aimed at strengthening the capacity of universities to participate and provide meaningful contribution as key players within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in their jurisdictions.

Specifically, the GBIP is to develop a knowledge exchange mentorship programme to equip young bio-scientists in Ghana with the know-how to translate biomedical research into commercial solutions.

The participants also called for more environmentally-friendly solutions using efficient information and communication technology (ICT) systems for improved innovations.

Participants further called for the involvement of key stakeholders in the development of curricula, including industry, to firmly connect the classrooms and work, explaining that something might be missing when curricula were developed by one institution.

The Coordinator of the project, Professor Desmond Omane Acheampong, said it was time for new curricula that would give space for students to be innovative.

"Sometimes graduates come out and are not able to fit into the system and be functional on the field because there was a disconnect between the classrooms and industry," Vice Dean of the School of Physical Sciences of UCC, Professor Kwesi Bentum, stated.

The incoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UCC and chairperson for the function, Professor Rosemond Boohene, said there was the need for impact investments while looking at how ICT would be incorporated and all resources galvanised for research and innovations.

She also called for sustainability of employment structures to make graduates more useful to society.