The University of Ghana (UG) has held a maiden virtual congregation ceremony for the 2019/2020 batch of students.
The maiden ceremony was for 88 Law students from the University of Ghana School of Law under the College of Humanities and 45 students from the university’s Medical and Dental School of the College of Health Sciences.
The virtual congregation programme which was organised last Thursday, was necessitated by the prevailing national safety guidelines for meetings involving large numbers as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the university explained.
The university would also hold similar congregations for other graduands, comprising 14,295 students from different schools and colleges of the university.
In all, the graduands comprise 964 students in non-degree programmes, 8,236 undergraduates, 4,668 postgraduate students and 427 PhD students.
The Chancellor of the university, Professor Mary Chinery-Hesse, said although the graduands would have wished to converge on campus with friends and family, the event had to be redesigned in the wake of COVID-19 to safeguard the health of all stakeholders.
She commended management of the university for the initiative to ensure continuity and the successful completion of the 2019/2020 academic year in the midst of the virus.
The Chancellor further applauded the efforts of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) and all frontline health workers fighting the pandemic.
She said the university was improving both physical and information technology (IT) infrastructure to facilitate effective teaching and learning in the prevailing circumstances.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, said following the directive issued by the President on March 15, this year for all educational institutions to close down until further notice, management rolled out an online teaching and learning programme to ensure that the Second Semester of the 2019-2020 academic year was completed successfully.
“We fully activated the UG Sakai Learning Management System and arranged with Vodafone Ghana to distribute limited data to enable faculty and students work off-campus. We also collaborated with telecommunications companies to whitelist all UG academic resources and created a help desk to provide technical support to faculty and students,” he added.
Prof. Owusu said: “When on May 31, 2020, the President announced that the final-year tertiary level students could resume lectures, management met with stakeholders and decided to continue with the online teaching and learning programme for final and continuing students, while affording final-year students who wished to return to campus to use on-campus resources the opportunity to do so.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions at the Attorney-General’s Office, Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, who was the guest speaker, encouraged the graduands to make use of opportunities presented them, especially, as professionals in their respective areas of specialisation to make themselves, the university and the country proud.
Ms Amanda Nutakor of the University of Ghana School of Law, delivered the valedictory address.
The ceremony was broadcast on all the university’s social media handles.