The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, says the institute will tighten its admission requirements as part of measures to ensure that products produced by the institute meet industry standards.
He said the institute wanted to remain relevant to industry for which reason he became worried when industry players complained about the quality of products from the institute.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo made the announcement when he paid a courtesy call on the management of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), at the company’s head office in Accra yesterday.
He was accompanied by the Head of Research and Acting Head of the Department of Communication of the school, Dr Lawrencia Agyepong and a Senior Lecturer, Mr Yaw Odame Gyau.
The visit was in line with the institute’s effort to deepen its relationship with key stakeholders, including the Graphic Group, as well as agree on possible areas of collaboration.
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said the fallen standards of education in the country needed a broader national discourse to find a lasting solution to the development.
“There is the need for a larger conversation to check the fallen standards of education,” he emphasised. “We need to make GIJ what it used to be and our products what people used to know,” he added.
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Extolling what he described as the healthy relationship between the institute and the GCGL, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo said the two institutions had a long standing relationship which needed to be strengthened for their mutual benefit.
The Rector said the GCGL was probably one of the largest end-users of products from the institute, adding, “GIJ and Graphic are two separate organisations whose paths keep crossing all the time.”
For his part, the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful, said the company was a proud partner and great beneficiary of the services the institute offered.
He urged the GIJ to enhance its training methods in order to produce human capital capable of meeting the needs of the fast-changing society and the job market.
Mr Afful said the media landscape was fast changing and required students with smarter competencies and skills.
He, therefore, urged the institute to reposition itself to meet the challenges of current media training.
Mr Afful pledged that the GCGL, as a key partner and beneficiary of the institute, would continue to provide internship opportunities for students from the school.
He implored the leadership of the school to encourage its students to write stories and articles for publication in the various brands of the company.
“We will continue to contribute to the development of the school,” Mr Afful pledged and said, the GCGL would support the institute during the celebration of its 60th anniversary.
The Acting Director of News at the GCGL, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, reiterated the concern over the quality of products coming out of the institute in recent times, saying “unlike in the past, many graduates who come to do internship and national service with the company lack many basic skills in journalism.”
She, therefore, called on the leadership of the institute to give more practical opportunities to its students.
Mrs Kitcher, however, commended the institute for its contribution to the media industry, saying “We recognise your importance.”
The Chairperson of the 60th anniversary celebration planning committee, Dr Agyepong, said the institute would use the celebration to set up an endowment fund to help train world-class media practitioners in the country.
“We want to do more. We want to be relevant to our institutions,” she said, adding that “We need to make GIJ what it used to be and make our products what people used to know.”
The GCGL management members who were present at the meeting included the Political Editor, Mr Kobby Asmah, the Editor of the Graphic Business, Mr Theophilus Yartey, the Editor of Graphic Online, Mr Isaac Yeboah, and the Photo Editor, Mr Douglas Anane Frimpong.